A talk by Peter Bush, translator of Tyrant Banderas, Baruch College (NYC)

At the height of the Arab Spring a long review of Ramón Valle­ – Inclán’s Tirano Banderas (1926) appeared in the Barcelona daily, La Vanguardia, which pointed out that Valle’s narrative of a civil war read like a fiction written for our times. Written in reaction to the Primo de Rivera dictatorship in Spain, translated to an imaginary Latin American republic, Valle – Inclán’s story was to be an extraordinarily perceptive anticipation of the Spanish civil war as well as the literary model for subsequent novels of dictatorship written by Miguel Angel Asturias, García Márquez and Roa Bastos. The translator will discuss his experience of reading the novel and the challenges of writing a new translation – the first into English since 1929 – of Valle’s Cubist, cartoon and camp representation of dictatorship in Latin America.

PETER BUSH is an award-winning literary translator who now lives in Barcelona. He was Professor of literary Translation at Middlesex University and then at the University of East Anglia, where he directed the British Centre for Literary Translation. Recent translations include Exiled from Almost Everywhere by Juan Goytisolo, A Thousand Morons by Quim Monzó and The Sound of a Hand Killing by Teresa Solana. Peter Bush’s translation, published by the New York Review Books Classics, with a prologue by Alberto Manguel, was launched in August, 2012.

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