Traduttore, traditore (roughly, ‘translators are traitors’) is a phrase frequently invoked when discussing the art of translation. Why would the act of translating be considered analogous to treason? What lies behind the act of translating? Can we speak of an ‘original’ and a ‘subservient translation’ or ‘copy’? What are some of the challenges a translator may face? How does one transit between texts and languages?
On November 13, 2014, a group of Hispanic Studies students and faculty members convened to discuss these and other questions related to literary translation. As a special guest, they were joined by Neva Mícheva, one of the most accomplished translators of contemporary literature in romance languages into Bulgarian.
Neva Micheva, a polyglot with M.A. degrees in Italian Philology and Journalism, was distinguished with the coveted 2014 Hristo G. Danov National Literary Award for her translations into Bulgarian of Los poemas de Sidney West (1969) by Argentine poet Juan Gelman, and Centuria: cento piccolo romanzi fiume (1979) by Italian writer Giorgio Manganelli. This fall, Micheva has been a Writer-in-Residence at the renowned and highly selective Omi International Arts Center (Ghent, NY). Thanks to Micheva’s translations, Bulgarian readers can enjoy the works by notable Hispanic intellectuals such as Eduardo Galeano, Manuel Puig, and Augusto Monterroso, Catalan writers such as Manuel de Pedrolo, and Sergi Belbel, and Italian authors like Antonio Tabucchi, Italo Calvino, and Dino Buzzatti, among others.