Since 2007 the Biblioasis International Translation Series has been publishing exciting literature from Europe, Latin America, Africa and the minority languages of Canada. Committed to the idea that translations must come from the margins of linguistic cultures as well as from the power centres, the Biblioasis International Translation Series is dedicated to publishing world literature in English in Canada and the US. The editors believe that translation is the lifeblood of literature, that a language that is not in touch with other linguistic traditions loses its creative vitality, and that the worldwide spread of English makes literary translation more urgent now than ever before. Translation is where we grapple as squarely as possible with the fact of the Other. It's a conversation that happens against all odds, and it would not occur at all without a mixture of civility, pantomime, admiration, occasional bewilderment, and something approaching alchemy. Its difficulties are proportional to its rewards.
There is a subculture of impassioned and intelligent readers of literary translations, and yet for a combination of reasons, their passion only rarely translates into media coverage and sustained pedagogical engagement. Literary translation devotees deserve more forums. And literary translators—all too often nudged off of covers in deference to backward and superstitious so-called marketing wisdom—deserve increased visibility. It is our hope that by providing a combination of excerpts from new/forthcoming works in translation from publishers in Canada and abroad, as well as a selection of reviews, short-essays, interviews and other assorted notices by way of a weekly feature every Tuesday, we can in some small measure help bring visibility to the translation community here and beyond. We hope that as the online face of our translation activities this blog reflects the unique blend of freshness and surprise that writers of diverse geographic and linguistic cultures can accord readers in English.