Dr. Ruediger Wischenbart offers up a wonderful summation of today's Global Market Forum program on Books in Translation. While reviewing, you may feel the pangs of missing something, this may be true but we can offer that on the BEA show floor there will be an additional 25+ programs on the Eastside/Translation Market stage that will be outstanding.
BEA GMF Books in Translation summary:
The winds of opportunity are blowing into the sails of that old ship that is the business of translation. Such was the broad consensus in yesterday's "BEA Global Market Forum 2014: Books in Translation. Wanderlust of the written word."
The agreement came from voices so diverse as Carol Brown Janeway of Knopf Doubleday, scout Maria Campbell, translator Esther Allen, start up publisher Michael Wise of New vessel, or John Siciliano of Penguin who had launched its newest star in translation, Joel Dicker, author of the international best seller, just hitting the US market, "The Truth of the Harry Quebert Affair", by a Swiss author, co-published initially by a legendary Swiss small press, L'Age d'Homme, together with a tiny Paris boutique publisher, Bernard de Fallois, is the Wunderkind of the season: A 600+ page thriller and a page turner, backed up by intellectual reflections on the art of writing, and in an about-face, a satire of New York's machinery of buzz around books, star authors and their vanity.
Joel Dicker, age 28, politely explained at the opening panel of the forum how he crafted this piece, and how important it was to him that this book would be both entertaining and light, and yet stand up to big American contemporary classics such as Philip Roth.
But a total of six sessions about translations, as an art, a craft and a business, also focused on all the routine burdens to bring good books from far away shores successfully to be embraced by an American readership, through building (Internet based) communities, by catering to not just English, but also Spanish language audiences, by establishing fruitful relationships between original authors, translators as mediators, and insightful editors and booksellers. And at the end, half a dozen organizations even proposed cash, in the form of translation grants, for easing the burden of going the extra mile that a translation requires.
This day of accounts, facts, anecdotes and discussions was opening on a wide horizon. But judging by the remarkably strong audience - one of the largest from the wide choice of Wednesday's sessions and topics - the "Wanderlust for the written word" hit an inspiring chord for many attendants. Which was the best compliment for the crowd of translation enthusiasts that we could have hoped for.