Last Call for a New Blood: The disinterest of UK and US publishers towards books in translation and its implications

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4 Responses

  1. Kelly Brown says:

    The best information i have found exactly here. Keep going Thank you

  2. Aaron Vlek says:

    Excellent article. I am an American working in the publishing industry in NYC. Your points are absolutely spot on. I work for a children’s publisher and increasingly foreign publishers come to our offices pitching books for reprint or translation that would have been bought instantly twenty-five years ago but now there is just no one who can “get it.” Picture Book of Dante from an Italian publisher? Incredible idea! Fabulous idea. We had to pass because it was too sophisticated and slick for the American children’s audience. How humiliating I found that! I read avidly and the overwhelming majority of the novels I read are in translation. One factor not covered in the article that bears reiteration. As education in the humanities and classical literature has dropped to almost nonexistence in US schools, the average American reader’s capacity for understanding contextual reference, literary references, historical references is almost nonexistent. American readers are now confined to cultural sound byte references that are easily and quickly recognizable. A word Starbucks is easier to grasp than the words Cicero, Agincourt, Kafka, Hafez, Doge’s Palace, Canaletto, Battle of Marathon, Battle of Badr, Tamujin, or any of a trillion other things they have never heard of and never will. I find it all thoroughly disgusting. This is why Interlinks Publishers is such a wonderful resource for readers of English.