The 5-1: Get to Know Translator Elizabeth Harris

5-1 Questionnaire

Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris has translated Italian authors like Domenico Starnone, Mario Rigoni Stern, Giulio Mozzi, and Marco Candida. Her recent translations appear in The Missouri Review, The
Kenyon Review
, and Words Without Borders, as well as in Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction 2010 (Mozzi) and Best European Fiction 2011(Candida).

1.Name your 5 favorite translated books:
Achh! Hard! The older translations of these aren’t considered the most “accurate.” But I fell in love with the authors with these translated versions, and it’s hard to …

In Red by Magadalena Tulli

Magdalena Tulli~Poland

Anyone who makes it to Stitchings appreciates its promising misty grayness and the moist warm breeze in which desires flourish
so handsomely. A wide choice of furnished rooms with all the modern conveniences, and homemade meals available just around the corner, cheap and filling. Daybreaks and sunsets at fixed times. A
moderate climate, flowers throughout the year. It’s well worth making the long steamboat journey, putting up with seasickness, till the port of Stitchings comes into view crowded with freighters
flying various flags. Or for the same number of days rattling along in a train, dozing form tedium, rocking to the rhythmic clatter of the wheels. The visitor–for instance a traveling salesman with
a valise bursting at the seams, as if instead a few …

Urs Widmer’s My Mother’s Lover

Urs Widmer~Switzerland

He’d been a musician, a conductor. Three days before he died, he conducted his final concert in the Stadthalle. Gyorgy, Ligeti, Bartok,
Conrad Beck.–My mother loved him all  her life. Not that he noticed. That anyone noticed. No one knew of her passion, not a word did she ever speak on the subject. ‘Edwin,’ mind you, she would
whisper when she stood alone at the lake, holding her child’s hand. There, in the shade, surrounded by quacking ducks, she’d look across at the sunlit shore opposite. ‘Edwin!’ The conductor’s name
was Edwin.

Many may not have heard of Urs Widmer, but if you’re wanting to get a good taste of modern …

Kafka’s Leopards by Moacyr Scliar

Moacyr Scliar~Brazil

Leopards in the Temple

Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can e calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the

–Franz Kafka (1883-1924), (transl. Clement Greenberg), from Parables and Paradoxes, 1946

Perhaps the leopards symbolized something. A leopard is a wild beast. Capitalists are ferocious in their greed for profit and their exploitation of the
proletariat. Killing a leopard in a zoo might be a way of demonstrating to the capitalists that their days were numbered. But, reasoned Mousy, workers are also ferocious when demanding their