Craft Talk with Ann Goldstein

This past Wednesday, the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House hosted Ann Goldstein for a craft talk about her work as a translator and working for The New Yorker. Some of the authors whose works Ann Goldstein has translated include: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alessandro Baricco, and Elena Ferrante, who has recently become well known for her secretive identity and series of novels, beginning with My Brilliant Friend.

During Ann Goldstein’s craft talk, she gave a short overview of what she does and the history she has with translating works from Italian. She’s been translating and copyediting for years and has significant experience in the field, even winning various honors for her work. Some of these awards include a Guggenheim fellowship and awards from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ann Goldstein’s craft talk was extremely informative. She covered the difficulty of translating one language into another, but still keeping the original intention and undertones of the text. Some words and phrases simply do not translate into other languages, so it’s up to a translator to use their knowledge and do their best to keep the original meaning. Various professors attended Ann Goldstein’s craft talk and they also discussed the issue of translating novels, particularly classics. We discussed how translations are constantly adapted from one book over the years and the translations age, even though the novels are still classics and do not age themselves. It was also mentioned that some translations become classics themselves and are the go-to choice for academics.

Sometimes, it can be tricky to work with authors in translating their works, because words in a different language cannot always be found to convey the message they want to send. It’s a collaborative process between the translator and the author in order to get the best-translated version possible. Authors sometimes update their works, which means that the translations of those works need to be updated as well.

As globalization becomes more and more widespread, literature from different countries is in demand in other countries because word gets out how popular and well-written the novels are in their home countries. Translated novels are becoming more and more common and have become wildly popular in multiple countries, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In the future, it’s likely that we’ll see even more novels that have been translated available in the United States.

I attend Franklin & Marshall College and am the campus correspondent of the Her Campus chapter here. I also play flute with the Pep Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. I am an editor for the Patsy Post, am involved with F&M Unleashed, a member of Mu Upsilon Sigma, and a Brother of Phi Sigma Pi, a co-ed honors fraternity.

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