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The Bridge: Suzanne Jill Levine and Stephen Kessler
Given the proliferation and diversity of its literary offerings, you'd think it would go without saying that NYC would be home to at least one excellent series devoted to the art of literary translation. But, strange to say, there hasn't been one. Fortunately, just such a series launched in February 2011. Curated by Bill Martin and Sal Robinson, the Bridge Series aims to promote public awareness of the craft of translation and the task of the translator. With McNally Jackson and other cultural institutions, it seeks to serve as a regular venue for readings, by both well-established and emerging translators and authors.
On Monday, November 26th, The Bridge will present Suzanne Jill Levine and Stephen Kessler, two acclaimed translators from Spanish who have recently worked together on the five-volume Penguin Classics Borges series, and will be discussing Borges, Manuel Puig, and Luis Cernuda.
Among many other others honors for her translations of Latin American literature, Suzanne Jill Levine recently won the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation, for The Lizard's Tale, by José Donoso. She is the translator of Manuel Puig and Adolfo Bioy Casares, and was the general editor for the Penguin Classics Borges series, including the volumes Poems of the Night, The Sonnets, On Writing, On Argentina, and On Mysticism. She is also the author of a biography of Puig, Manuel Puig and The Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions, The Subversive Scribe, a book on translating Latin American fiction, and a new chapbook: Reckoning. She is the founding editor of Translation Studies Journal at UCSB.
Stephen Kessler is a poet, prose writer, translator, and editor. His version of Desolation of the Chimera by Luis Cernuda was selected by Edith Grossman for the 2010 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets. His other recent books include The Tolstoy of the Zulus: On Culture, Arts& Letters (essays), The Sonnets by Jorge Luis Borges (as editor and principal translator), The Mental Traveler (novel), and Burning Daylight (poems). He is also the editor of the quarterly literary newspaper The Redwood Coast Review. His translation of Poems of Consummation by 1977 Nobel laureate Vicente Aleixandre will be published in early 2013 by Black Widow Press.
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