Authors and translators: are they on one side or opposites?
Tim Parks (translator, writer, and publicist from The NY Review of Books) raised some interesting issues in his article. Is translator a co-author of a literary work? Should he have a royalty like an author does? The article envisages all sides of the question in detail. To prove the difficulty of translator’s work, and also to show the diversity of final results, the author puts four different translations of the opening lines of Dostoevsky’s “Notes from the Underground”. And if an author is a source who presents his work to the world, then who is the translator? And who makes a bigger impact on culture: a translator of a landmark novel, or talented but barely known writer from an out-of-the-way place?
In a majority of countries, the translator’s rights for intellectual property acknowledged by law. Publishing houses must purchase an ownership of the translation, but wherein translators usually don’t get any royalty. As for the creative side of the question, for example, in Russia as a part of Literary Award “Yasnaya Polyana” since 2015, there is a nomination “Foreign Literature”. Not only authors but also translators are nominated and can win a money prize. In 2016 the award was given to the writer Orhan Pamuk and translator Appolinariya Avrutina for the book “A strangeness in my mind” (original title: “Kafamda Bir Tuhaflık”).