THAT OTHER WORD | Episode 7 | November 2012 | Stephen Henighan

“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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This month, hosts Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito begin by talking about books they haven’t read, but are eager to: the young Mexican novelist Juan Pablo Villalobos’ Down the Rabbit Hole, which continues to attract praise from all corners; and two works by Marie Chaix, The Laurels of Lake Constance and the forthcoming Silences, or a Woman’s Life, both of which have been translated by Chaix’s husband, the American Oulipian Harry Mathews. Daniel Medin enthuses about two stories in the latest issue of Granta, The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists: Daniel Galera’s dynamic “Aponea” and Michel Laub’s “Animals,” which Adam Thirlwell calls a “matryoshka feat.” Continuing along in the Portuguese vein, Scott Esposito introduces Mia Couto’s The Tuner of Silences, a recently-translated novel from a fascinating Mozambican writer.

Scott Esposito then speaks to Stephen Henighan, a novelist, critic, and translator from Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. Since 2006, Henighan has been general editor for the International Translation Series at the Canadian-based press Biblioasis. He talks about immigrant experiences in Canada and his own “deeply-rooted rootlessness,” the Canadian relationship to English and translation, and the challenges of procuring and producing translations for the Canadian market. He discusses Mia Couto’s “rural modernism,” his literary influences, and why the author travels well, despite being essentially “untranslatable.” Finally, Henighan tells the comical and haphazard story of how he came to learn Romanian, and describes the process of translating and trying to publish Mihail Sebastian’s The Accident.


INTRO: Daniel Medin and Scott Esposito

1:00 Juan Pablo Villalobos’ Down the Rabbit Hole
2:39 Marie Chaix’s The Laurels of Lake Constance and Silences, or a Woman’s Life
4:00 Granta’s The Best Brazilian Novelists
8:04 Mia Couto’s The Tuner of Silences
8:50 Scott Esposito introduces Stephen Henighan and Biblioasis

FEATURE: Scott Esposito interviews Stephen Henighan

10:33 Coming to translation; traveling, immigrating, writing
16:07 Translating as and for Canadians
25:49 Biblioasis International Translation Series: getting started with Ryszard Kapuscinski, Ondjaki, and Horacio Castellanos Moya
32:22 Mia Couto and Lusophone African authors
42:55 Marketing translations in Canada
45:58 Biblioasis’ goals and the importance of translation to language
51:54 Learning and translating from Romanian; Mihail Sebastian’s The Accident

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