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Translating Fiction: Andrea Rosenberg


Mar 26 2019


3:15 pm - 4:15 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

Andrea Rosenberg

Translating Fiction

A Conversation with Andrea Rosenberg

In his essay for the 1989 book The Craft of Translation, renowned literary translator Gregory Rabassa wrote, “Translation is a disturbing craft because there is precious little certainty about what we are doing, which makes it so difficult in this age of fervent belief and ideology, this age of greed and screed.” Thirty years on, in a new age of “greed and screed,” literary translators continue to pluck up the courage to commit to challenging choices as they transform works from one language to another.

Andrea Rosenberg will speak on the details of some of the decisions she has been called on the make in her translations, and in particular for The Gringo Champion (2017), her rendering into English of the young Mexican novelist Aura Xilonen’s debut work Campeón gabacho (2015). Among the daunting tasks that fell to Rosenberg’s lot was how to field what writer Cristina Rivera Garza has labeled “ingleñol,” the presence of English in the Spanish-language text, a kind of reverse Spanglish. Dr. Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado remarks on Rosenberg’s rising to other challenges in his piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books, “One cannot begin to imagine the enormous difficulty of translating a prose like Xilonen’s, full of wordplay, idiomatic expressions, and anachronisms, with an almost musical verbal flow that relies on the Spanish language’s natural syllabic metrics. Andrea Rosenberg’s translation is notably intrepid.”

This event is organized by Joan Munné and Melissa Simmermeyer, Senior Lecturers in the Department of Romance Studies, and has been made possible with the support of the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Fund, the Trinity Language Council, Duke Service-Learning, Romance Studies, and the Duke University Center for International Global Studies. Visit for more information.


Andrea Rosenberg

Andrea Rosenberg is a translator from Spanish and Portuguese to English. Among her full-length translations are Tomás González’s The Storm (Archipelago Books 2018), Inês Pedrosa’s In Your Hands (AmazonCrossing 2018), Aura Xilonen’s The Gringo Champion (Europa Editions 2017), Juan Gómez Bárcena’s The Sky Over Lima (Houghton Mifflin 2016), and David Jiménez’s Children of the Monsoon (Autumn Hill Books 2014). Her…...

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