30 August 2009


I just discovered this great little interview with Anne McLean (a.k.a. who I want to be when I grow up):
Can you explain what you do?

Probably not, but I guess what I do is rewrite Spanish and Latin American prose in English. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. I like a description George Szirtes gave recently: "Translation is hearing and replying: it is trying to get your ear, mouth and mind round that which potentially fascinates you in another work in a different language."

Describe a typical working day. What did you do today?

I wish I had such a thing as a typical working day. I’m very disorganized and easily distracted and tend to go off on tangents and forget what I was doing, saying, reading, writing or where I was supposed to be going about 17 times a day.

It’s not quite noon but so far I’ve proofread a few chapters of the proofs of Ignacio Martínez de Pisón’s forthcoming To Bury the Dead, I’ve read a chunk of Javier Cercas’ new book, Anatomía de un instante, which has just been published in Spain and I hope I’ll eventually get to translate it, and this afternoon I’ll translate some pages of The Secret History of Costaguana, which is Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s most recent novel (and that will probably involve all sorts of looking things up and getting lost in other books and on websites).

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