THAT OTHER WORD: Episode 5 | September 2012 | Margaret Jull Costa

“That Other Word,” a collaborative podcast between the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris and Two Lines Press in San Francisco, offers discussions on classic and contemporary literature in translation, along with engaging interviews with writers, translators, and publishers.

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Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito return to the second season of That Other Word energized by the translators’ duels at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the great work being done at the UK-based press And Other Stories. They look forward to new works in translation this fall, including Antonio Tabucci’s The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico, Basque author and Edinburgh guest Bernardo Atxaga’s Seven Hours in France, and the latest from César Aira, The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira. Daniel Medin hopes that several novels generating interest in Germany and France — Jenny Erpenbeck’s Aller Tage Abend, Clemens J. Setz’s Indigo, and Jean Echenoz’s 14 — will soon be translated as well.

Afterward, Scott Esposito sits down with Margaret Jull Costa, a distinguished translator from Spanish and Portuguese who has brought Javier Marías, José Saramago, and Eça de Queiroz into English. She is the winner of numerous literary awards for translation, including the IMPAC Dublin award for her version of Marías’ A Heart So White. She speaks about her twenty-five year career, her pragmatic approach to translation, her favorite authors and her love of the nineteenth century, as well her thoughts on the evolution of Javier Marías’ style and his latest novel, which she has translated as The Infatuations.


INTRO: Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito

1:00 Antonio Tabucci’s The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico
3:00 Edinburgh International Book Festival; And Other Stories
7:20 Cesar Aira’s The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira
8:02 Bernardo Atxaga’s Seven Houses in France (links to CAT interviews and such)
8:55 Jenny Erpenbeck’s Aller Tage Abend, Clemens J. Setz’s Indigo,
and Jean Echenoz’s 14
10:48 Scott Esposito introduces Margaret Jull Costa

FEATURE: Scott Esposito interviews Margaret Jull Costa

12:12 Introductions; first experiences with translation
17:22 First encounter with Javier Marías and gaining traction in the field
20:10 Questions and approaches to translation
23:27 Margaret Jull Costa’s favorite authors; Tolstoy in translation
25:43 Producing new translations; Eça de Queiroz and the nineteenth century
31:32 Translating and publishing Marías’ All Souls and early novels
36:18 Winning the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Marías’ A Heart So White
38:42 Consulting with Javier Marías; Margaret Jull Costa’s working process
41:09 The evolution of Marías’ style; The Infatuations