My friend and fellow translator Alyson Waters will be conducting what sounds like an amazing translation workshop in Paris this summer. Ah, to be young, with the City of Lights yet to be discovered! I wish this kind of thing had been around when I was teaching myself to translate, from books checked out of the New York Public Library, in the bedroom of an Inwood apartment whose only window was screened from the fire escape by a thick, locked grate.
The Art of Literary Translation – Paris Workshop, is an intensive, four-week-long course with a primary focus on the translation of modern and contemporary works from French into English. The program will consist of three-hour writing workshops (meeting three times a week), a lecture and guest speaker series with translators and professionals in the field, and additional cultural activities.
So you’ll have lots of time to lounge around in dissolute expatriate cafes.
The program will take place at Reid Hall, Columbia’s Paris campus in the beautiful Montparnasse neighborhood, over four weeks, from June 24 – July 19, 2013. Students will work first on short passages selected by the instructor and then on projects of their own choosing. The intensive workshop structure will give them the chance to engage deeply with their own writing and with each other’s and, at the same time, will offer the unique chance to penetrate the minds of other writers in a way that only translation can provide While French grammatical structures and vocabulary will be emphasized, stylistics, esthetics, and mastery of one’s own written English will be key, as the ultimate goal of the course is to bring each student’s translation to the next level of artistic refinement.
Alyson Waters has been teaching translation workshops and French literature seminars at Yale University for more than fifteen years, in addition to teaching translation workshops at NYU and Columbia. She has received a PEN Translation Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, as well as residency grants from the Centre National du Livre, the Villa Gillet, and the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. She sits on the advisory board of Yale University Press’s Margellos World Republic of Letters series, and the advisory committee of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Her most recent translations include Albert Cossery’s A Splendid Conspiracy (New Directions, 2010) and his The Colors of Infamy (New Directions, 2011), and Eric Chevillard’s Prehistoric Times (Archipelago Books). Waters has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. She divides her time among Brooklyn, Paris, and, whenever possible, coastal Brittany.
The deadline for applications is March 1, 2013. You should apply! All Paris awaits!