[AUDIO] Two Voices Salon with Katrina Dodson on Clarice Lispector


photo by Poetry Inside Out staffmember Sarah Coolidge

On Thursday, September 24, we were honored to present Katrina Dodson before a capacity audience at the Book Club of California. Dodson was there to discuss the Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector, which she spent two years translating for New Directions. She was in conversation with Two Lines Press’s Scott Esposito.

The conversation was wide-ranging, including translation choices Dodson made (including contrasts with previous, domesticating translations of Lispector’s strange Portuguese), the growth of Lispector’s image, her non-adult-literary writings (including her columns and children’s literature), interactions between Dodson and Lispector series editor Ben Moser, the role of religious mysticism in Lispector’s writing, and some of Dodson’s favorite stories.

If you appreciate this audio and would like to say thanks, consider taking out a subscription to Two Lines Press (they’re very affordable) or donating to the Press’s parent organization, The Center for the Art of Translation.


0:00 Introductions by CJ Evans of Two Lines Press

3:10: Event starts

7:50: Katrina reads from “Love” by Clarice Lispector (in both Portuguese and English)

12:45: The development of Lispector as an author and as a person

16:55: Lispector as a person who “did her own thing,” her pornographic stories, and her evolution as a writer as seen in the Stories

20:08: The place of mysticism and Christian elements in Lispector’s writing

25:30: Direct comparison between the first-ever translation of a Lispector story into English and Katrina’s translation of that same story

32:00: Lispector as a writer of women’s bodies and experiences

35:30: Lispector’s image and the marketing of her books

41:05: Translating Lispector’s strange imagery

45:30: Separating out the sense from purposeful nonsense in Lispector’s strange writing

52:00 Katrina’s favorite stories

59:35: Lisepctor as compared to Bolaño as an emergent phenomenon in English

1:03:30 Authors Lispector could be compared to

1:06:45 Lispector’s journalistic work

1:08:25: Lispector’s children’s literature

1:09:22: What Katrina has learned from translating Lispector’s work

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