Friday Finds: Samah Selim on Translation Not as a ‘Marketplace’ or ‘Bridge’

Samah Selim on translation, testimony and dissent..

“My interests in translation have moved in new directions as a result. I’m not so interested anymore in the idea of translation as “marketplace” or “bridge”, but as a form of radical knowl- edge production. My current book translation project (the rst in ve years or so) re ects this interest: a long-neglected memoir by a young Egyptian communist (and woman) of the 1970s student uprising generation. It has also made me much more interested in the poetics and political economy of translation into Arabic.”

Arabic Literature (in English)

Translating the Egyptian Revolution, on Translation, Testimony, Activism: An Interview with Samah Selim” ran in an October 2016 issue of Getuigen: Testimony Between History and Memory, although it was only just posted online:

samahselimcropped2010In the interview, Selim talks about how her reasons for doing translation — and for her views on what it does and is — have shifted in the last six years, and also about her current translation project, Arwa Saleh’s Al-Mubtasarun: dafatir wahda min gil al-haraka al-tullabiyya (The Stillborn):

I’m not so interested anymore in the idea of translation as “marketplace” or “bridge”, but as a form of radical knowledge production. My current book translation project (the first in five years or so) reflects this interest: a long-neglected memoir by a young Egyptian communist (and woman) of the 1970s student uprising generation. It has also made me much more interested in the poetics and political economy…

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