Border crossing: How translated fiction can open up the world

The new Elena Ferrante is just one of the exciting novels in translation coming next year. Lara Feigel talks to the UK editors who are rediscovering classics and finding new audiencesThere are voices that speak to us across oceans and centuries with more intimacy than the people who surround us in our daily lives. These can speak directly with clarity and honesty: think of Elena Ferrante, whose feverishly awaited new novel The Lying Life of Adults is written from the perspective of an adolescent girl disillusioned by the “unreliable animals” inhabiting the adult world; or Natalia Ginzburg, writing in The Little Virtues that after the war “we cannot lie in our books and we cannot lie in any of the things we do”. They can speak meanderingly out of troubled nights, entering our dreams: think of Vigdis Hjorth, writing in Will and Testament that “it is terrible that someone who has been destroyed spreads destruction, and how hard that is to avoid”. Or they can speak precisely and carefully, allowing us to access our own hopes and fears by describing material surroundings in minute detail. In Territory of Light, Yūko Tsushima’s autobiographical tale of motherhood in the wake of divorce, there are long descriptions of the flat where she lives alone with her daughter: “The apartment was filled with light at any hour of the day.”From postwar Italy, from contemporary Norway, from 1970s Japan, these narrators speak of love, suffering and domestic labour. That we have access to these... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2019-11-23 08:00:49 UTC ]
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