Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Foreign Literature Essay
Last night I was at the presentation of the Independent unconnected Fiction Prize, at the National enactment Gallery, where a young Angolan writer, Jos Eduardo Agualusa, was proclaimed the 2007 winner for his novel The Book of Chameleons, understandd from the Lusitanian by Daniel Hahn. Set in contemporary Angola, the book is particularly notable for organism narrated by a lizard. The judges this course were the poet David Constantine, writer and editor program Jennie Erdal, Arts Council publications officer Kate Griffin, novelist Ali Smith and the literary editor of the Independent, Boyd Tonkin.Admirably the prize is sh ard betwixt the translator and author, thus honouring an art that a great deal goes unsung. The book was evidently a common choice and Agualusa received his award in person, accompanied by whoops and cheers. Tonkin extols the prize as a unique bridge betwixt writers abroad and readers at home. As thrilled as I was that this expert newcomer beat such litera ry heavyweights as Ismail Kadare and Javier Maras, however, I was dismantle more delighted that the award reward a small literary publisher, Arcadia, who deep celebrated their 10th anniversary.The dedicate police squad at Arcadia are worthy recipients of this honored award, not just for bringing this fanciful young writer to an English readership, yet overall for their championing of cultural diversity and for rig our literary choice 50% of their 2007 lists are books in description. Given the effects of globalization elsewhere, it seems astonishing that we dont translate more foreign literature in this country. Apparently, translated fable accounts for only 3% of fiction sales in the UK, compared with 30-40% in France or Spain. The British are voracious readers, so why are we so insular?Dont we welcome preposterous voices and different perspectives? How can we exert pressure level on publishers to produce more translated fiction? For those interested in foreign literat ure, an tenuous resource is Words Without Borders, an online magazine dedicated to promoting international exchange through translation and publishing works/extracts on the web. And if youd like to see Jos Eduardo Agualusa and Daniel Hahn, theyll be practice session from The Book of Chameleons this evening at Foyles bookshop, London, 6.30pm 8.30pm.