"To think and write beyond our own experience is a necessary transgression if we are to expand our understanding of the world," Katrina Dodson writes of her approach to translating the work of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. "To translate the stories, I had to perform a double incarnation, to inhabit Clarice inhabiting her various characters."
For her translation from the Portuguese of Lispector’s Complete Stories, Dodson won the 2016 PEN Translation Prize, the American Translators Association Lewis Galantière Prize, and a Northern California Book Award. Translating Lispector became a quasi-religious endeavor for Dodson, who pinned a photograph of the author above her desk to help her channel her subject. "I did my best to divine where Clarice’s significant distortions of language lay and how I might convey them faithfully, to use a fraught term for translators," Dodson writes in an essay in The Believer.
Dodson holds a PhD in comparative literature from UC Berkeley and teaches translation at Columbia University.
She talks with Kathryn Crim, who recently completed her PhD in comparative literature at UC Berkeley with a dissertation on “Fit and Counterfeit: The Emergence of a Documentary Aesthetic.”
Presented by Art of Writing.