‘Heretics,’ By Leonardo Padura : NPR – Hifow


I enjoy looking through publications in translation. There’s just a thing about that next go — that next glance at the language — which gets rid of, by my rough estimate, a thing like 10% of any writer’s preciousness (I have hardly ever identified 1 who could not spare that substantially, at minimum) and provides just about every line these a chewy, lived-in come to feel. The movement of the words and phrases by themselves, from 1 tongue to a different — from 1 brain to a different, 1 mouth to a different — alters them basically. The untranslatable idiom, the occasional clumsy little bit of dialog (no doubt ideal in its indigenous tongue) produced so substantially better and much more, I do not know, human in its awkwardness. I cherish it all.

And so we have Anna Kushner translating Leonardo Padura’s most recent novel Heretics and committing to the page these fantastically complex feelings, these gorgeously convoluted traces. Like this, an rationalization of someone stating, in essence, I aspiration of being invisible:

“That sentence, the summary of his remarkable will for a submissive evasion, would be the inspiration capable of changing many of his son’s attitudes and would press him, much more than the wish for of getting invisibility, to the search to transform himself into someone else.”

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