Tonight, a conversation with the Professor Karen Van Dyck, editor of Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry. March 16, 2017
Whenever I have the good fortune to speak to one of the world’s foremost translators I always think of the story told to me many years ago by a poet who was having her English language poetry translated into Greek. She told me how she’d called up the man who was translating a number of her poems and when he got on the phone he seemed to be both elated and deflated at the same time. When she asked him what the problem was he took in a deep breath then sighed and said that he’d written the most beautiful poem that day.
“So why are you so sad?” she asked.
“Because it isn’t mine…it’s yours.” he replied.
Translators have a most unique, and more often then not, thankless job. They must take a work of art and transform it into a “work of art”. All the while they have to walk the fine line between creating something new and making sure the intent, the passion and the art of the original creator somehow remains intact. They must be masters of an art and a craft.
Tonight I’ll be speaking to Professor Karen Van Dyck one of the great translators working in the field today. We’ll touch on the art/craft of translating (How can I not talk about it when I have someone of her magnitude on?) but our main focus will be the recently published volume she edited entitled: Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry.
Years ago when The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present was published I spoke to Peter Constantine about the book that he and a few others including Professor Van Dyck edited, and somehow we got onto the topic of what he found exciting in literature at that time and he said, without hesitation, the poetry coming out of Greece by new, young writers.
Now we have a volume of that work available to us.
Professor Van Dyck and a number of the poets will be at the McNally Jackson Bookstore next Tuesday, March 21 at 7pm to discuss the book and their work. Please Click here for more information about the event.
But, of course this is still our spring fundraiser. Please tune in and listen to what will no doubt be a fascinating discussion about the voices heralding the new poetry coming out of Greece but also take the time, when we break to remind you, to call in and pledge whatever amount you can. These are hard times. Austerity measures must be taken but if you can afford five or ten dollars please take the time to call and help us out. Our number is 718 204 8900. Or click here to go to a “Donate” page on our website.
Please tune in tonight at 7pm to my radio program Graffiti to listen to my conversation with Professor Van Dyck on Hellenic Public Radio/CosmosFM, WNYE, 91.5 fm. Or listen on-line at the CosmosFM website. Or use the TuneIn app on your smart device.
Also tomorrow night, March 17, is St. Paddy’s day AND it’s also the Open Mic at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center 300 Riverside Drive, Sleepy Hollow, NY.
We start around 7:30 so please be on time so you can sign up to read.
All genres are welcome: fiction, non-fiction, poetry…music, comedy, storytelling.
There is a 5 minute limit for your reading.
Suggested donation $5.
Hudson Valley Writers Center