INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)
It’s all so perfect in your mind but so hard to translate it from the abstract, timeless concept onto hard, cold paper.
Michael Cunningham (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hours” which was ‘translated’ into the Oscar-winning film) is extremely articulate about how all literature is a translation: first of what’s in the author’s head onto paper, then by an editor into publishable form, then by the reader from the page into their mind and, if you’re at all successful, by editors into other languages where other readers translate those words into their minds.
It’s a profound way of thinking about the creative process. Please enjoy…
As the author of “Las Horas,” “Die Stunden” and “De Uren” — ostensibly the Spanish, German and Dutch translations of my book “The Hours,” but actually unique works in their own right — I’ve come to understand that all literature is a product of translation. That is, translation is not merely a job assigned to a translator expert in a foreign language, but a long, complex and even profound series of transformations that involve the writer and reader as well. “Translation” as a human act is, like so many human acts, a far more complicated proposition than it may initially seem to be…
Read the rest of the article in the NY Times.
Graphic image by Ji Lee.