Oct 3 / Shelly Bryant

Translators Literary Salon Oct 2023

It was a real pleasure to have Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma with us at our regular salon. We read a Tamil story and discussed it together, and Thomas brought many insights to the table that helped bring us all to a greater understanding of the piece. It was instructive to note that we had all understood and enjoyed the story at certain levels without understanding the original, and even when the comments from Thomas deepened our appreciation for what was going on, it was clear that we had each experienced some level of engagement with the piece that at least approximated what a reader of the original might have. At least equally instructive were the comments that highlighted the ways in which the translation had let us down as readers, failing to bring across key images and ideas that made a real difference in our understanding.

After we discussed the story together, Thomas led us through a delightful discussion on the integrity of a translation. I have spoken – even gushed, I admit! – about that in a previous post, so I will not say more here. Suffice it to say that it was a very enriching evening for all who attended.