日付変更線 International Date Line

Call for Submissions: Seeking re-translations of poetry and prose
Inventory No. 5 
The Re-Translation Issue

In celebration of its fifth anniversary, the Editors of Inventory are assembling a special issue devoted exclusively to original re-translations. That is, they are seeking fresh and thoughtful translations of literary texts that have already been translated into English. Compelling reasons for re-translation might include a problematic first translation or an exceptionally rich text affording a multiplicity of possible translations. Re-translations from less-taught and non-European languages are especially encouraged, as are re-translations of works little known in the Anglophone world. 

Based in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature, Inventory is a journal of literary translation supported by the Interdoctoral Program for the Humanities, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Program for Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton.  Submit to invent@princeton.edu by June 1, 2014 to be considered.

Difficulties of translating children’s literature
In this funny and well-written special feature in the Guardian, translator Sarah Ardizzone talks about translating Marjolaine Leray’s April the Red Goldfish into French: Avril le poisson rouge.  Handling a transgender, suicidal fish in another language is not always easy!  

Difficulties of translating children’s literature

In this funny and well-written special feature in the Guardiantranslator Sarah Ardizzone talks about translating Marjolaine Leray’s April the Red Goldfish into French: Avril le poisson rouge.  Handling a transgender, suicidal fish in another language is not always easy!  

In this film recorded during the poet Takahashi Mutsuo’s 高橋睦郎 recent trip to Michigan, he reads from his memoirs Twelve Views from the Distance 『十二の遠景』about his memories of his mother in the days immediately before she abandoned him to go to China.  

In 
intimate, poetic language, this book describes Takahashi’s youth in a poor, rural family in southwestern Japan and the tragic ways his family’s destiny intersected with the rise and fall of the Japanese empire.  Click here to go to the Amazon page for this book.

高橋睦郎『十二の遠景』の新書評 

The newest issue of Rain Taxi included this review of my translation of TAKAHASHI Mutsuo’s memoirs Twelve Views from the Distance.  The author, Amanda Vail, wrote: 

Twelve Views from the Distance does not hesitate to present uncomfortable subjects (violence, lust, death, adultery, greed) with as much honesty as moments of beauty, love, and charity. It is an elegant novel; the overarching imagery floats gently on the surface of Takahashi’s words, carried smoothly from memory to memory, shading the events of the author’s life and presenting avenues into the world of his childhood…. 

Takahashi’s memoir presents not only the difficulties faced by citizens living through a war, but also the challenges of growing up in poverty, of being raised by a single mother who is forced to make ends meet in creative ways, and of exploring an alternative sexuality, among others. The novel presents twelve reflections on the time and place it depicts; some of the details are very specific, and many are universal. Throughout, Twelve Views from the Distance is unflinching, compassionate, and beautiful.

Click here to read the entire review.
Click here to go to the page for the book on Amazon.  

 

Only three percent of everything published in the U.S. each year is translated from another language, and much of that is non-literary stuff like manuals, help books, and other odds and ends.  Due to this, the author writes, “It’s likely that American readers will not discover today’s Borges, Calvino, Neruda, or Kafka until long after they are dead, if they even discover them at all.”  Particularly distressing is that of the tiny handful of translated pieces of literature released in this country, only a quarter are by women.  Things need to change, but as this article points out, small presses are beginning to make a huge difference.  

俳人・宮下惠美子、骨董専門家・宮下進は西ミシガン大学で講演をする

Western Michigan University’s Soga Japan Center is pleased to bring husband-and-wife team Susumu & Emiko Miyashita to WMU to give two talks part of its ongoing Premodern Japanese Culture Workshop and Speaker Series. The talks will be held back-to-back on Thursday, February 13, 2014 in 3025 Brown Hall on WMU’s campus. 

From 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., the haiku poet Emiko Miyashita will talk about the history of haiku and the translation of haiku poetry into English. Although Westerners think of haiku as a form of short verse arranged in the pattern of 5-7-5 sounds, there is also a style of haiku known as “free rhythm haiku” that follows freer rules. Miyashita will talk about the work of the modern free-rhythm haiku master Taneda Santōka 種田山頭火 (1882-1940), the place of his work in the history of haiku, and the difficulties of translating his work for contemporary Western audiences. The talk will be in English with examples of translations problems drawn from Japanese.


From 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., Susumu Miyashita will talk about the aesthetics of the tea ceremony and the ways that its profound appreciation of simple, rough ceramics and utensils contributed to Japanese aesthetics. People frequently describe the tea ceremony’s appreciation of rough, simple beauty as being uniquely “Japanese,” but is that necessarily the case? This presentation re-evaluates the assumption that other nations and people cannot appreciate the aesthetics of tea. Susumu Miyashita, an expert in tea-related antiques, will show examples of tea culture, and talk about the aesthetics that have shaped the tea ceremony and notions of “Japaneseness” over the years. This talk will be in Japanese with English interpretation. 

Emiko Miyashita 宮下惠美子 is a haiku poet who, since 1997, has been writing in both Japanese and English. She is a director of the JAL Foundation, known for its World Children’s Haiku Contest. She is also a manager of the Association of Haiku Poets and a councilor of the Haiku International Association. She has translated more than ten books about haiku and waka poetry, Noh theater, and Japanese sweets. 

Susumu Miyashita 宮下進 is a graduate of Dōshisha University in Kyoto. He is the owner of a shop in the Ginza (Tokyo) that specializes in tea antiques. 

Nominations Solicited for the 2014 ALTA National Translation Award

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is inviting nominations for ALTA’s National Translation Award. The translator selected for this award will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

To be eligible for the 2014 National Translation Award, the translation must be: 

  • by an American citizen or U.S. resident
  • from any language into English
  • of a book-length work of fiction, poetry, drama, or creative non-fiction (literary criticism, philosophy, and biographies are not eligible),
  • published anywhere in the world in 2013.

The deadline for nominating books published in 2013 is March 1, 2014.   

Please use Submittable, at https://alta.submittable.com/submit to provide nomination materials, including  the following:

  • copy of the nominated book,
  • copy of the original-language text (if available in pdf), along with
  • a $50 entry fee for each nominated book ($30 if your press publishes five or fewer titles a year)

If original language text is available only in hard-copy, please send it by regular mail to: American Literary Translators Association, ATTN: National Translation Award, 900 East 7th St., PMB 266, Bloomington, IN 47405-3201.

Publishers will be asked to send THREE copies of the nominated book, if it is advanced to the Judges Round. 

Queries concerning process can be sent to aron-aji@uiowa.edu.

Criteria for judging the award are:

  • the importance of the translation and the literary significance of the original;
  • the success of the translation in recreating the artistic force of the original.

Translations of contemporary works are preferred, but important re-translations or first-time translations of older works will also be considered if they make significant contributions to international literature and its translation.

The National Translation Award supports ALTA’s goal of enhancing the status of literary translation, improving the quality of literary translating, and broadening the market for works in English translation. Recent winners include such distinguished translators as Richard Wilbur (2008), Norman Shapiro (2009), Alex Zucker (2010), Lisa Rose Bradford (2011), Sinan Antoon (2012), and Phillip Boehm (2013).

The award-winning book and translator for 2014 will be featured at the 37th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in Milwaukee, WI.

The Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University is pleased to announce a prize honoring the life and work of our colleague, Kyoko Selden. The prize will pay homage to the finest achievements in Japanese literature, thought, and society through the medium of translation. Kyoko Selden’s translations and writings ranged widely across such realms as Japanese women writers, the atomic bomb experience, Ainu life and culture, historical and contemporary literature, poetry and prose, Japanese art, and early education (the Suzuki method). In the same spirit, the prize will recognize the breadth of Japanese writings, classical and contemporary. Collaborative translations are welcomed. In order to encourage classroom use and wide dissemination of the winning entries, prize-winning translations, together with the original Japanese text, will be made freely available on the web. The winning translations will be published online at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus <http://www.japanfocus.org/>. 

Submit three copies of a translation and the original text of an unpublished work or a new translation of a previously published work to the Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize, Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. E-mail submissions should be sent to seldenprize@cornell.edu. Please provide both paper and electronic versions of the translation and the original text. The maximum length of a submission is 20,000 words. The translation should be accompanied by an introduction of up to 1,000 words. In case of translation of longer works, a 20,000-word excerpt should be submitted. The closing date for the first prize competition is May 30, 2014. Awards will be announced on August 31, 2014. A prize of $2,500 will be given to the author(s) of the award-winning translation.

For further information, please visit http://lrc.cornell.edu/asian/seldenmemorial

Transference, WMU&#8217;s journal of poetry in translation, is having an open reading period through January 5, 2014.  Please download the previous issue and submit at http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/transference/. 

Transference, WMU’s journal of poetry in translation, is having an open reading period through January 5, 2014.  Please download the previous issue and submit at http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/transference/

The journal Poetry Kanto, designed to bring Japanese and other international poets into dialogue, has just released its newest issue completely online. (Click here to follow the link.) In it are some translations of some important Japanese poets: ŌOKA Makoto 大岡 誠, one of the leaders of the Japanese poetic world in the mid-twentieth century, and TSUKAGOSHI Yūka 塚越祐佳, one of the new, dynamic generation of poets whose work I have been following in recent years with great interest. Alongside them is Gorō TAKANO 高野吾朗, the Hiroshima-born poet who tests the boundaries of language in his adopted language of English. Check out their work, along with the many other writers included in this issue. 

The journal Poetry Kanto, designed to bring Japanese and other international poets into dialogue, has just released its newest issue completely online. (Click here to follow the link.) In it are some translations of some important Japanese poets: ŌOKA Makoto 大岡 誠, one of the leaders of the Japanese poetic world in the mid-twentieth century, and TSUKAGOSHI Yūka 塚越祐佳, one of the new, dynamic generation of poets whose work I have been following in recent years with great interest. Alongside them is Gorō TAKANO 高野吾朗, the Hiroshima-born poet who tests the boundaries of language in his adopted language of English. Check out their work, along with the many other writers included in this issue. 

My department, the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, just published the inaugural issue of Transference, a journal of poetry in translation.  The inaugural issue can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. It includes some wonderful translations of many poets from around the world, including many Japanese poets&#8212;Fujiwara Shunzei, Takamura Kōtarō, Yamanokuchi Baku, Doi Bansui, Ishihara Yoshirō, and even Natsume Sōseki.  
We have just opened the reading period for the second issue.  The journal publishes English translations of poetry from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian.  We encourage translators to submit a short commentary on the art and process of translating along with their translations.Submissions for our second issue will be accepted through January 5, 2014. Submissions can be sent in via the Transference website.

My department, the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University, just published the inaugural issue of Transference, a journal of poetry in translation.  The inaugural issue can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here. It includes some wonderful translations of many poets from around the world, including many Japanese poets—Fujiwara Shunzei, Takamura Kōtarō, Yamanokuchi Baku, Doi Bansui, Ishihara Yoshirō, and even Natsume Sōseki.  

We have just opened the reading period for the second issue.  The journal publishes English translations of poetry from Arabic, Chinese, French and Old French, German, Classical Greek and Latin, Japanese, and Russian.  We encourage translators to submit a short commentary on the art and process of translating along with their translations.

Submissions for our second issue will be accepted through January 5, 2014Submissions can be sent in via the Transference website.

The newest issue of Asymptote, one of the very best journals of international writing out there, contains lots of gems, including a short story by Tawada Yōko, who in my book, is nothing short of a genius.  (Whenever I hear all of the hype about Murakami Haruki being in the running for the Nobel Prize for Literature, as we did last week before Alice Munro finally took home the prize, I always secretly hope that Tawada, who is so much more creative and brilliant than Murakami, will stage a radical upset.)  

Here is how the story in Asymptote begins:  

Click here for the entire story.

高橋睦郎X伊藤比呂美のミシガン州朗読ツアー

Next week, two of the most thrilling and dynamic Japanese poets, Mutsuo TAKAHASHI and Hiromi ITŌ, will be visiting Michigan for a series of three poetry readings and talks at Western Michigan University, University of Michigan, and Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership.  Details about each of the three events can be found in the posters above.  Already, the poets are talking about how to make each of the events unique and fun, so no two events will be the same. 

Mutsuo TAKAHASHI (b. 1937) stunned the poetry world in the 1960s with his bold evocations of homoerotic desire. Since then, he has published more than three dozen collections of verse and countless books of essays, earning a place as Japan’s most important gay writer. In addition to poetry, he has written novels, plays, haiku, tanka, countless essays, and even an opera libretto. Five volumes of his work are available in English, including Poems of a Penisist, which became a favorite work of Allen Ginsberg, and the memoir Twelve Views from the Distance, much admired by novelist Yukio MISHIMA. Takahashi currently lives in Zushi, Japan.

Hiromi ITŌ (b. 1955) made a sensational debut in the 1980s writing about sexual desire, pregnancy, and abortion with a directness that shocked some and made her a feminist hero to others. Since then, she has become a prominent fixture in the literary world, writing with unfailing originality about women’s issues and experiences. She has lived in California since 1997 and written several prize-winning works about her experience as a transnational migrant. Her English translations include Killing Kanoko, which was on the SPD Poetry Bestseller list for over one year, and the forthcoming Wild Grass on the Riverbank. She lives outside San Diego.

Tony Beckwith, who is both cartoonist and translator, has on his website a number of cartoons having to do with translation, interpretation, and language.  Here are two, but for more, check out his website.  

Looking through these was the most fun that I had this afternoon!  Thanks to the folks at ALTA for sharing these on their mailing list.