The Closest Reader: Why Translation Matters

Monday, February 20, 2017 - 5:00pm
Mesquite Room, Student Union Memorial Center

Dr. Gianluca Rizzo (Colby College) will give a presentation on translation and translators:

"Translators have it rough: they do an impossible job – something nobody in their right mind would agree to do – for very little pay and absolutely no recognition. Yet, they are indispensable cultural ambassadors, on whose services we depend for connecting people living at the opposite ends of the world. Not only that, by manipulating the target language (that is, the language into which they translate) in order to make it do things it wouldn’t normally do, they stretch it – increase it, enlarge it– and transform it, sometimes for good. Having been a practitioner of this most vilified and useful art for over a decade, I have been able to witness first-hand what a good translation is capable of achieving and, on the contrary, the disappointment for the missed opportunities caused by each failed translation. In this talk I will offer a few reflections on both scenarios, on my years as a translator, and what I learned from them."