Category Archives: translation


I started translating Genet’s poems, in a spirit of wilful inaccuracy, in Cambridge in 1974, and stopped four years later, in the winter of 1978, in a high-rise flat in Portugal. In 1980, I was teaching in northern Italy and … Continue reading

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Will this pleasure never end?

If any of you are lucky, or clever, enough to be able to read Arabic you can now enjoy The Scent of Cinnamon in translation, in the Albawtaqa Review. For more information, click here.

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Readings of Genet (mine)

Forgive my absence. If this blog were a different kind of open book from the one it is, I’d have a lot to tell, but, post-Diana, and unfashionably, I’ve opted for discretion. Which means that all I’m using it for … Continue reading

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Nid wyf yn…..

Curious? Click here for a great post about translation.

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Borges and di Giovanni

When I first read Borges as a teenager I was thrilled, enthralled, puzzled, inspired. Years later, a collected Borges was published and I thought it would be a good oportunity to reacquaint myself with the entire body of work. As … Continue reading

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The best way to confirm that translation isn’t just shifting sense from one word to another but wrestling with, and reflecting, cultures is to take a look at packaging. We’ve just picked up two fabulous new Bialetti pans from our … Continue reading

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De Groei

You can find the contents page of Vrij Nederland, with a three-line extract from my story The Growing (or De Groei) here (at the top of page two). It’s all double single Dutch to me, but I like the sound … Continue reading

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Chinese whispers

As someone who’s made a (poor) living from academic translation in the past – I now make a poor living from editing my own dear language into UN-speak – I’m deeply impressed by good literary translators. I would never have … Continue reading

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Machine translation. Don’t you just love it…

If you’ve nothing better to do and speak the language of another country reasonably well, click on its flag in the my widget panel down there to the right and enjoy what happens to all these posts. And then wonder … Continue reading

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This comes from the label of a small jar of a local speciality. The hairs have been removed.

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