Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation


If you’ve come to Tajfuny, you’re probably familiar with translated literature. After all, few of us are able to read Asian literature without the intermediary of a translator and his work. Many of you probably like to think and discuss about the art of translation. Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation edited by Kavita Bhanot and Jeremy Tiang is the perfect way to broaden your thinking about translation.

A small note here: this is not a book only about Asian languages, although they are the majority of discussed cases. The common denominator here is decolonization – and the translators grapple with the problem of a strong colonizer and a weaker colonized, although both terms can be understood literally as well as metaphorically.

The essays from the collection Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation were collected on an open call basis. So the texts are varied in form and tone. From very in-depth, almost scientific views on language and translation problems, to shorter, personal reflections – on the subject of the “mythical English-speaking reader” (this is the essay by Anton Hur,one of the most active Korean translators nowadays), or struggling with the publishing world when you are a woman with a darker skin (Sawad Hussain and Why Don’t You Translate Pakistanian?)). Given the wide thematic field, not all essays will interest every reader to the same extent, but it is worth getting acquainted with them all anyway: because without translations the world of literature would be much poorer.

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