An Analysis under Special Consideration of the Publishing Market
Appendix 4 Interview with Margaret Jull da Costa sent by E-mail in April 2005 363
363 Appendix 4: Interview with Margaret Jull da Costa, sent by E-mail in April 2005 1. Do you usually decide the authors you are going to translate or are you usually commissioned to do that? I am always commissioned to translate a book. 2. Are some writers more approachable for foreign markets than others? What are the criteria that could be used to distinguish those who are fit to be translated? I think British and American publishers do prefer foreign books that approximate to the British/American ‘norm’. Having said that though, I translate José Saramago and Javier Marías, neither of whom are exactly easy reads or in the usual mould of Brit- ish/American fiction. So there is a small place for writers who write in a very ‘foreign’ style, but only a small one. There is a cur- rent vogue in Britain for translated detective fiction, which has always been very much a British speciality, but has now spread all over Europe. 3. What is the translator’s target? To translate the book/novel as it is, keeping the ‘national feelings’ or adapt them to the atmosphere of the country into which the book will be published? I aim to translate a novel into English without losing any of its ‘national feeling’. I certainly don’t adapt language or plot or char- acters in any way. That isn’t my job. 4. Several translators of Saramago’s novels have won relevant literary prizes. As far as you understand the system, do you believe the...
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