Tim Parks is Associate Professor of Literature and Translation at IULM University in Milan. He is the author of many novels, translations, and works of nonfiction. A version of his essay in this issue will appear in Drawn from Life: Selected Essays of Michel de Montaigne, which will be published by Notting Hill Editions in November. (November 2016)
Remarking on a painter he had hired to decorate his house, a man whose habit was to fill in the empty spaces around his central painting with “odd fantastic figures without any grace but what they derive from their variety,” Montaigne draws a comparison with his own writing. “And in …
Is it right for a single mother spending a cold night outside so as to be among the first for a job handout at her town’s government center to bring her croupy baby along with her? Isn’t that irresponsible? But what if she can’t find anyone to babysit, and couldn’t …
by Jhumpa Lahiri, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
Many readers will be aware of Jhumpa Lahiri as the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning collection of short stories The Interpreter of Maladies (1999), elegant, unsettling tales that invariably draw the reader into a state of anxiety for the welfare of a group of characters living for the most part …
Parks: That means that you’re giving dream experiences the same status as ordinary waking experiences. They are both the result of the same processes of causation.
Manzotti: Absolutely. And that’s how it is, isn’t it? When you dream, it’s real. You are the objects of your experience.
Two ideas drive the now decades-old campaign to extend royalty payments to translators. The first is practical: introducing a royalty clause into the contract ensures that at least in cases where a translated book makes serious money the translator will get some share of it. The second is conceptual: translation is “intellectual property” and as such should be considered authorship and should receive the same treatment authors receive. There are problems with both of these ideas.
Manzotti: Each body brings into existence a world of relative objects, that are, nevertheless, external physical objects. Not things that emerge from your brain, or representations that well up in there. When the body stops working and dies, that world of experience, your consciousness, which is external to your body, ceases to exist as well. But not, of course, the whirlwind it was selected from.
Parks: Essentially, you’re turning everything inside out. The experience I thought was inside is outside.