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Translating Fiction: Lisa Dillman


Mar 27 2018


10:15 am - 11:15 am


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

Lisa Dillman

Translating Fiction

A Conversation with Lisa Dillman

In his foreword to the 2007 PEN / IRL report on the international situation of literary translation, To Be Translated or Not to Be, writer and director Paul Auster saluted those among us “who toil so selflessly to keep literature alive for everyone.” He declared that “translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.” Lisa Dillman will present on the joys and challenges of translating literary fiction, and share some of the criteria that inform her decision-making. The very characteristics that define stimulating literary works (unique style, tone, rhythm, and a high degree of inventiveness) are precisely those most difficult to recreate convincingly in a translation. Based on the knowledge she has acquired over years of working with several authors, Dillman will also remark on some of the distinct types of writer-translator collaboration that she has experienced.

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 Mary D.B.T. and J.H. Semans International Exchange Fund, the Trinity Language Committee, Duke Service-Learning, the Spanish Language Program, Romance Studies, and the Duke University Center for International Global Studies. Visit for more information.


Lisa Dillman

Emory University

Lisa Dillman was raised in southern California and studied Spanish at the University of California, San Diego. During her time there she spent one year at University of Barcelona, and later completed an M.A. in Spanish Literature at Emory before returning to Barcelona to study Catalan. She earned a second…...

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