The most recent Michigan Quarterly Review is a special translation issue. “We bookend the issue with two stories devoted to translation as an act and translation as a geopolitical reality in a world of many borders as well as languages,” the editors say. “We have gathered translations from a host of figures—scholars, critics, poets, novelists—and have reprinted the originals in the original language, not to prove our scholarly bona-fides, but to emphasize translation in yet another sense, the shuttling between different alphabets—let’s translate that word into less loaded ones, like “written symbol-systems”—which manifest different appearances to the reader. The hope is not that readers will instantly turn to their Tibetan or Persian or Hebrew or Greek dictionary and cry—aha! I prefer this or that word or locution, but rather sense the arbitrariness of the English-sign-and-symbol system that our extraordinarily learned translators are bringing to bear on their efforts.”
The issue features Gendun Chopel (Donald S. Lopez, Jr.), Euripides (Anne Carson), Ghalib (M. Shahid Alam), Odi Gonzales (Lynn Levin), Anna Herman (Adriana X. Jacobs), Omar Khayyam (Juan Cole), Irma Pineda (Wendy Call ), Sohrab Sepehri (Kazim Ali and Mohammad Jafar Mahallati),Charles Baxter, Tom Earles, Patricio Pron (Kathleen Heil), Jorge Semprun (Sara Kippur), and more.