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ISBN: 978-1-931883-87-0
ISSN: 1525-5204
Pages: 205
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Distributed By: Publishers Group West

Two Lines 30: The Future of Translation

Spring 2019

What do we want the future of translation to be, and how do we guide it to that place? For this, our twenty-fifth anniversary issue of Two Lines, we invited six essayists and translators to wrestle with the future. For the most part, the questions are not new: Who gets translated, who does the translating, and what does “honoring” the original really mean? But the viewpoints and insights in this issue, I think, would have been unlikely even ten years ago.

Bonnie Chau, a second-generation Chinese American who had purposefully turned from her family’s cultural history to be more “American,” struggles in her essay with whether she even has the authority to translate from Chinese and what sort of “American” she is actually translating for. Madhu Kaza, in her essay, discusses her struggle not only to get literature from Telugu—a language with more speakers than Italian—published, but even to find access to study the language of her childhood in the United States. And ultimately, she discusses how broadening our idea of literature can give us clarity in unfamiliar (to Americans) political times.

I have been with Two Lines since Issue 16—half of the issues in the magazine’s history. I don’t know the future of translation, but I do know and am thankful that it will include new voices, like some of the translators in this very issue, and new perspectives on what translation looks like, what editing translation looks like, and what work gets published. As I think of how far literature in translation has come since Two Lines began in the early nineties, I’m incredibly optimistic about the complexity, diversity, and breadth of the art form’s future.

Translation is an invitation, a bringing in of a reader who would be otherwise left outside. In the next twenty-five years I hope there will be many more homes we can be brought into, many more voices we can hear, and more translators, editors, and publishers supporting the bulky, beautiful machinery required to sit alone in a room and hear a voice speak to you alone from far away.

— CJ Evans

Table of Contents
The Attendant
Translated from Thai by Mui Poopoksakul
Our Daily Day
Translated from Spanish by David Lisenby
Screech Owl
Translated from Spanish by Kate Whittemore
The Public Scribe
Translated from French by Rita Nezami
Berenice (Risen from the Dead)
Translated from Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Drizzle | Village History | Leisure Summer Index
Translated from Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
My Scent That Doesn't Pass |Dupin Detects | Song of the Moon Hanging Over the Fields of Damascus
Translated from Persian by Rebecca Gould & Kayvan Tahmasebian
As if with momentum | Not a scrap | Dream in which you shoot | Mouthfuls | A bunch of neon nooses
Translated from Polish by Karen Kovacik
In the Heeling
Translated from German by Patty Nash
Every Day I'm a Firefly | If You Say | "If a life springs within you..." | "Here the dead don't just go to the grave peacefully..."
Translated from Zapotec by Wendy Call
"When I have heard the empty rooms in houses..." | "This evening's gentle high, a blue Diana..."
Translated from Danish by Susanna Nied
"When I have heard the empty rooms of dwellings..." | "This evenings writes euphoria's blue Diana..."
Translated from Danish by Denise Newman
A Window | Two Windows | Three Windows
Translated from Arabic by Mona Kareem
I Heard Him Singing | A Stone in the Wind | You Are Not a Poet in Granada | A Country Called Song | Andalusians
Translated from Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Engaging the New Knowledge
Silence, Exile, and Translating
Writing the Reality We Want: A Conversation Between Eleanor Goodman and Lucas Klein
Impossible Connections