Title

Translators and Their Other Professions

Subject Area

Translation Studies

Abstract

Translation scholars move between disciplines, bridging fields such as politics, history, and literary scholarship. Practicing translators, too, constantly research a wide range of topics in order to more completely understand the source texts. They also tend to exercise agency as cultural liaisons in other capacities, as reviewers, critics, editors, editorial advisers, literary agents, researchers, teachers, or authors. These other professions inform their work as translators. This paper will examine the intersections between translation and the other work translators do, studying the various ways in which translators curate canons and influence cultural exchange. The analysis will center on the work of Harriet de Onís, a prolific translator from Spanish and Portuguese into English who published approximately forty book translations (fiction and non-fiction) in the U.S. between 1930 and 1969. De Onís was so influential that Chilean writer José Donoso claimed that she “controlled the sluices of the circulation of Latin American literature in the United States and by means of the United States throughout the whole world.” De Onís worked as an editor as well as a translator. She altered or abridged some of the texts she translated, at times in collaboration with authors. In addition, she edited anthologies, gave lectures, wrote reviews, and worked as a literary scout and editorial adviser for the influential publishing house Alfred A. Knopf. The analysis of de Onís’s work allows for a broader reflection on the ways in which translators´ other professions shape their work as translators, and vice versa.

Brief Bio Note

Victoria Livingstone has a PhD in Hispanic Literature from Boston University and is currently a Visiting Research Associate at Furman University.

Keywords

Translation, Latin America, Harriet de Onís

Location

Room 212

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-24-2017 3:45 PM

Embargo

11-3-2016

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Mar 24th, 3:45 PM

Translators and Their Other Professions

Room 212

Translation scholars move between disciplines, bridging fields such as politics, history, and literary scholarship. Practicing translators, too, constantly research a wide range of topics in order to more completely understand the source texts. They also tend to exercise agency as cultural liaisons in other capacities, as reviewers, critics, editors, editorial advisers, literary agents, researchers, teachers, or authors. These other professions inform their work as translators. This paper will examine the intersections between translation and the other work translators do, studying the various ways in which translators curate canons and influence cultural exchange. The analysis will center on the work of Harriet de Onís, a prolific translator from Spanish and Portuguese into English who published approximately forty book translations (fiction and non-fiction) in the U.S. between 1930 and 1969. De Onís was so influential that Chilean writer José Donoso claimed that she “controlled the sluices of the circulation of Latin American literature in the United States and by means of the United States throughout the whole world.” De Onís worked as an editor as well as a translator. She altered or abridged some of the texts she translated, at times in collaboration with authors. In addition, she edited anthologies, gave lectures, wrote reviews, and worked as a literary scout and editorial adviser for the influential publishing house Alfred A. Knopf. The analysis of de Onís’s work allows for a broader reflection on the ways in which translators´ other professions shape their work as translators, and vice versa.