We know that translators translate books, but are translators ever characters in books? I don’t believe that it is too common for “translator” to be a character’s job title. Why is that?
I recently read The Liberated Bride by A.B. Yehoshua (I read it in translation by Hillel Halkin) and was happy to see that one character, though a fairly minor one, was a translator. Hannah Tedeschi, referred to as “the translatoress”, is the second wife of the main character’s former mentor, and she translates from Arabic to Hebrew. In fact, she does some on-the-spot translations that the main character judges to be excellent and moving. The reader never sees her working (except in the one scene where she translates as a poet reads the poems, though her actual labor is not portrayed), but we do experience her actual translations.
Can you think of other books with translator characters?
Taking a Day Off
2 days ago