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Translating Transculturally from the Caucasus and Central Asia

Sat, November 7, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Virtual Convention Platform, Room 5

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Brief Description

The Soviet Union is gone, but its legacy still looms large in the post-Soviet world literary world. Whether they write in Russian or not, writers like Talasbek Asemkulov (Kazakhstan), Akram Aylisli (Azerbaijan), Abdulhamid Cho'lpon (Uzbekistan) and Alisa Ganieva (Dagestan), whom the panelists have translated, have/had all adapted to one degree or another to a literary culture defined largely by Russian publishers and literary critics. How have the Russian literary community and Russian cultural institutions shaped the literatures of the Caucasus and Central Asia? Can things be written or published in Russian that can't be said in Azeri or Uzbek? How and how well has the Russian literary community supported the human rights of writers who run afoul of their own literary and language communities? From the translator's point of view: what ethical and practical issues do we face in dealing with self-translation, bridge translation, or multi-source-language translation? How do issues of source language(s) and translation impact the publishing prospects for these works in English? How do they affect critical reception in English once these works are published? In what ways have literary institutions in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and the U.S. supported or discouraged successful translation and publication of works from the Caucasus and Central Asia in English?

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