Putting the art of translation in the spotlight

Alongside Tokarczuk, she began translating works by Polish writer Wioletta Greg and Argentine writers Romina Paula, Pedro Mairal and Federico Falco, who described Croft as “extremely sensitive to the subtlest variations in the language of different characters, to their feelings, their moods.” , their silence.”

Croft has a somewhat unconventional approach to translation. She begins by reading the entire book, then goes back to the beginning and tries to emulate the author’s writing process as best she can.

While working on Mairal’s novel The Uruguayan Woman, structured like a man’s letter to his wife and written quickly, Croft translated it as quickly as she could to emulate its frenetic pace and frenzied, confessional prose.

“She managed to keep the intimate tone,” Mairal said in an email. “The translation feels like someone is talking to you, which is exactly what I wanted to do.”

Croft focuses more on conveying tone, style, and meaning than word-for-word accuracy. She described her process as “taking a book completely apart and then rebuilding it from the ground up”.

When she doesn’t translate, Croft writes. She wrote an autobiographical novel in Spanish titled Serpientes y Escaleras about her coming of age and her budding love for the intricacies of language and translation. She originally had no intention of publishing it in English, but instead began translating chapters to share with her sister, whose illness is a recurring motif in the book. When she reformulated it, Croft rewrote it entirely as illustrated nonfiction, and the English version “Homesickness” published by the unnamed press in 2019 was published as a memoir.

Croft, who lives between Los Angeles and Tulsa, is currently working on a novel about translation called Amadou. The story takes place in the forests of Poland, where a group of translators have gathered to work together on the latest work of an acclaimed Polish writer. The translators are stunned when the author undergoes an otherworldly transformation and disappears into the forest, leaving them alone to find out what her new novel means.

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