10 December 2007

Lagging behind

Over at Three Percent, Chad Post muses:
Instead of waiting for the English version to come out, I wish American media outlets would follow the lead of the TLS and others and review untranslated books. It would be great if major media outlets wrote about great international authors irrespective of the release of a new title in English.

Granted, this is never going to happen, but that also means that we’re almost always going to be lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of reading and discussing great literature. For better or worse, English is a colonizing language, and our resistance to other languages and cultures just means that the rest of the world is passing us by.
(I'm reminded of an interview with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o I read last week:
First, let me say that what I really oppose is all forms of monolingualism. It's not good for any society--American society or any other society.)
Post is also collecting a list of titles for a potential "Best Translations of 2007" list. (I suggested that Natasha Wimmer's translation of Delirium by Laura Restrepo be included. I read and enthusiastically admired the original earlier this year. Wimmer's translation looks excellent as well.)

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