If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents, A Memoir

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9780811216197: If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents, A Memoir

The long-awaited memoir and meditation on the art of translating by the most acclaimed American translator of Latin American literature.

Gregory Rabassa's influence as a translator is incalculable. His translations of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch have helped make these some of the most widely read and respected works in world literature. (Garcia Marquez was known to say that the English translation of One Hundred Years was better than the Spanish original.) In If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents Rabassa offers a cool-headed and humorous defense of translation, laying out his views on the art of the craft. Anecdotal, and always illuminating, If This Be Treason traces Rabassa's career, from his boyhood on a New Hampshire farm, his school days "collecting" languages, the two-and-a-half years he spent overseas during WWII, his travels, until one day "I signed a contract to do my first translation of a long work [Cortazar's Hopscotch] for a commercial publisher." Rabassa concludes with his "rap sheet," a consideration of the various authors and the over 40 works he has translated. This long-awaited memoir is a joy to read, an instrumental guide to translating, and a look at the life of one of its great practitioners.

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About the Author:

Gregory Rabassa was born in Yonkers, New York, March 9, 1922. He grew up north of Hanover, NH, graduated from Dartmouth College, Class of 1944, Phi Beta Kappa, and got his MA, and PhD at Columbia University after serving as a U.S. Army, Infantry, Staff Sgt during World War II. One of Latin American literature’s most distinguished translators, Gregory Rabassa translated more than thirty novels from Spanish and Portuguese into English ― including works by Jorge Amado, Miguel Angel Asturias, Julio Cortázar, and Mario Vargas Llosa. Most notably, he translated Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Among his many awards, Gregory Rabassa was a Fulbright Fellow, winner of the National Book Award for Translation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, the Gregory Kolovakos Award, PEN. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at Queens College/CUNY and The Graduate School/CUNY.

Review:

"The leading U.S. translator of Latin American literature."

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