David Bellos on becoming a translator

In a brief interview, accomplished translator David Bellos is asked “How did you get started as a translator? Any advice to aspiring translators?” He says:

I read Perec’s “Life A User’s Manual” in French in 1981 and was entranced by it. Even before I’d finished reading I felt it needed to be a book in English so I could share my enthusiasm with others. That’s how I began. I think many other translation careers have begun with something of the same kind—a  passion or strong engagement with a book or a writer or a school of thought that made translation a natural and necessary consequence.

I am kind of going down that road. I’ll let you know how it pans out.

Good news this week, too: my translation of Mallarmé’s typographically radical long poem (Un Coup de dés n’abolira jamais le hasard, or in English A Roll of Dice Will Never Abolish Chance) — it seems to have finally found the right editors and will appear in a print journal, in winter or spring 2015 I would guess.

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