Like goalkeepers, drummers in rock bands, and election-night adjudicators, nobody gives much thought to the work of the non-fiction translator until something goes wrong—one could describe it as responsibility without power. And so, the dilemma of the translator of works of politics, society, and contemporary culture: to what degree should they play an active, even interventionist, role in shaping the text-in-translation, so that it meets the standard that the reader expects?
Haim Watzman, the leading Israeli translator of Hebrew non-fiction into English, has shaped an acute sense of the translator’s responsibility over a long career as a translator. In "Translating in Nabokov’s Shadow", he will discuss the delicate art of telling his authors that he may just know better than them, the pressures of being an invisible presence on the page—and what it is like to be on the opposite side of the translating divide, having an original work of his own translated into Hebrew.
Haim Watzman will be conversing with Akin Ajayi, a British-Nigerian-Israeli writer, co-founder of the Tel Aviv Review of Books.
Sunday August 15
8 pm Israel time / 6 pm London time / 1 pm EST
Sunday August 15th 7 Elul 08:00 - 09:00
Haim Watzman, Akin Ajayi
Online Zoom Event Map
Translators, Writers, General Public
Sorting books before they are moved to the new Library building in Givat Ram, 1960. Photo: David Haris