Georgia Institute of Technology Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Bourne Chair in Poetry, and Director of Poetry@Tech Ilya Kaminsky was interviewed in The Hopkins Review, November 11.
Here's an excerpt:
Dora Malech: You’re someone who has both translated and been translated a lot, and you’ve talked in the past about what is translatable—what remains versus what gets lost in translation. You’ve mentioned image as something that can survive in translation, and possibly metaphor and rhythm as elements that can come across in a translation. And I would perhaps add narrative and drama to that list. Music can get lost in translation, and cultural context can get lost in translation. In reading your new book, Deaf Republic, with its compelling narrative and imagery, I kept thinking about those elements as ones that might survive translation. I began to make much of this and wonder if you purposefully wrote a book with the ability to move beyond one language, but I’m happy to be corrected. Do you see these translatable elements as an inherent strength or even a moral imperative, or do you want to push back and say, “No, that wasn’t my intention at all?”
Ilya Kaminsky: Do you believe you have a soul? Can you tell me where in your body it is? Well, translation is the art form that thrives on that kind of certainty/uncertainty.
The School of Literature, Media, and Communication is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.