Never blog while slightly tipsy. (Do as I say, not as I do.)
Rainer Schulte presented a service award to Elizabeth Gamble Miller for her work for ALTA and translation, and for her excellent work on the ALTA newsletter. *standing ovation for Elizabeth*
Elizabeth gave a very moving speech about how her life has been given meaning and been enriched by the contact she has had with authors and translators.
We heard a little bit about the 2008 FIT conference in Shanghai, represented tonight at ALTA by Jiang Yonggang from the Translators Association of China.
Jim Kates is announcing the National Translation Awards... More than 20 ALTA members participate before the final level. Anyone in ALTA who is interested in participating, please let Jim know: his email is here on the ALTA web site. Over 80 books were submitted for the award this year, and there were 4 finalists:
Landscape of Castile - Antonio Machado - Mary G. Berg and Dennis Maloney
Canterbury Tales - trans. Joseph Glaser
The mysterious flame of Queen Loana -- Umberto Eco - trans. Geoff Brock
And thewinner: Ellen Elias-Bursac - for her translation of Gotz and Meyer by David Albahari.
Jim says something about consistency of dogged understatement.
Ellen talks about Albahari's descriptions of obsession. The protagonist trying to find out the story of his parents in WWII in Belgrade. A carbon monoxide truck... He begins to talk about his obsession to his students, who have no idea what he's talking about.
"They made poetry out of bodies..."
"In rhymed verse?"
"In free verse. With a good deal of repetition."
(The students naively talk about romanticism. Whlle the teacher is talking about the Holocaust and real life evil.)
It's amazing - very compelling - it gives me shivers.