Chloe Garcia Roberts, the translator of our forthcoming Feather, a children’s book by Cao Wenxuan, interviews Chloe Aridjis, the translator of The Child Poet by Homero Aridjis for the column, The Critical Flame Conversations.
“I sometimes wonder how different the result would have been had I finished the translation when I first started it in 1993, rather than over twenty years later, once I’d written two novels of my own. I tried to remain as unintrusive as possible and not succumb to certain writerly instincts that have inevitably developed since then. Spanish is the language of my own childhood and especially adolescence; English is more associated with my adult life (my studies were in the US and UK, I live in England, write in English), so there was a kind of translation taking place at other levels too, and I had to reach into my own past and reinhabit a world that existed purely in Spanish—and of course the vanished world of my father’s childhood, since Mexican villages have undergone all sorts of transformations too. Donkeys have been replaced by cars, every home has a television, every family has someone who’s gone off to seek fortune in Mexico City or the US.”
You can read the full interview here.