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Translator for the Ages

Edith Grossman’s translations recreate Spanish literature for English-language readers.

En español | Thanks to Edith Grossman’s translations, the works of Gabriel García Márquez, Mayra Montero, Miguel de Cervantes, and others are more accessible to English-language readers. Her latest labor of love is The Golden Age: Poems of the Spanish Renaissance (August 2006).

Q: What led you to work on contemporary texts?

A:
My first reading of Pablo Neruda’s poetry.

Q: Why return to your roots, the late 15th-17th centuries?

A:
Translating Don Quixote in 2003 was serendipitous. Once I recovered from my shock at the request, I realized how exciting it would be. Once back in the mindset of the Golden Age…I thought it would be wonderful for people to get excited about [Renaissance] poetry.

Q: How did you choose the works in this anthology?

A:
 I chose poems I like very much by poets I like very much.

Q: Can these poems have popular appeal?

A:
Poetry doesn’t make for bestsellers, but I think these poems can appeal to readers because they are brilliant and beautiful poems.

Q: How can Spanish Renaissance literature help us understand Latin American culture?

A:
The more a person reads great literature, the more that person understands the world. The human condition is similar enough throughout time to be open to the insight gained from literature. … Back to Article

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