Fight Between the Lines: Translation as Literary Activism – Q&A for Comma Press

To celebrate our upcoming virtual conference Manchester in Translation 2022, we will be sitting down with participating translators to find out more about their work.

In this blog post we talk to Alex Valente, who will be taking part in our first panel Fight Between the Lines: Translation as Literary Activism on the 23rd February.

Q: Do you feel that the work of translators is sufficiently acknowledged within publishing?

Translators are among the most loudly unacknowledged people in the publishing world; what I mean by this is that there will always be and has been someone advocating for better recognition of translators (#namethetranslator, #translatoronthecover, alongside actual union-based attempts to secure better working conditions), while an overwhelming lack or reluctance of being aware of our status as workers, along with editors, publishing assistants, covert artists, copy editors, beta readers.

What is disappointing is that it’s also everywhere within the translator community itself – especially when the focus of all writing about translation tends almost exclusively to be about the art of translation and the highbrow status of literary work – when these are two sides of the argument that should be going hand in hand, as recent developments from the Authors Guild (US) have codified, for example.

Read the full interview on the Comma Press blog!

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