A collection that brings together Spivak’s wide-ranging writings on translation for the first time.
Living Translation offers a powerful perspective on the work of distinguished thinker and writer Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, revealing how, throughout her long career, she has made translation a central concern of the comparative humanities.
Starting with her landmark “Translator’s Preface” to Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology in 1976, and continuing with her foreword to Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi and afterword to Devi’s Chotti MundaandHis Arrow, Spivak has tackled questions of translatability. She has been interested in interrogating the act of translation from the ground up and at the political limit. She sees at play at border checkpoints, at sites of colonial pedagogy, in acts of resistance to monolingual regimes of national language, at the borders of minor literature and schizo-analysis, in the deficits of cultural debt and linguistic expropriation, and, more generally, at theory’s edge, which is to say, where practical criticism yields to theorizing in untranslatables. This volume also addresses how Spivak’s institution-building as director of comparative literature at the University of Iowa—and in her subsequent places of employment—began at the same time. From this perspective, Spivak takes her place within a distinguished line-up of translator-theorists who have been particularly attuned to the processes of cognizing in languages, all of them alive to the coproductivity of thinking, translating, writing.
Murathan Mungan, translated from the Turkish by Aron Aji and David Gramling Northwestern University Press, 2022 Library of Congress PL248.M86C4613 2022 | Dewey Decimal 894.3533
Winner of the 2021 Global Humanities Translation Prize
Among Murathan Mungan’s signature works, Cenk Hikâyeleri (Valor: Stories) has long been considered a milestone of twentieth-century Turkish literature. The six short stories in the collection reflect the author’s multiethnic background (which includes Kurdish, Arab, and Turkish heritage) and represent his lush poetics, literary breadth, and sociopolitical commitments.
Valor reimagines Shahmaran, a mythical half‑human, half‑snake figure that commonly appears in the folklore of Turkey’s southeastern provinces. Legend interweaves with the contemporary realities of ethnicity, religious dogma, gender, and sexuality. Uncovering hidden narratives within a rich and complicated culture, Mungan’s stories depict self-realization and sexual awakening as they showcase one of Turkey’s most popular literary voices.