Alaa Al Aswany on Literary Translations

al Aswany:    The translation of literature is much more than searching the meaning of the words, you see?  Translate a literary text means simply to be able to reproduce the text with the same criteria and the same artistic power in another language, which is not…  I mean, not everybody could do this.  I was translated to 22 languages and I can judge only for English, French and Spanish, because these are the languages I read, but I can, I follow, I get the feedback through some friends, for example, the Italian translation, I had some feedback from a friend, an Italian writer who said that it was not very good in some text, so I told my publisher and we fixed it up, you see.  But I think that I was [fine] with the translation.  For the English translation I had two translators, Farouk Mustafa who is the head of the Department of the Arab Literature in Chicago University, and I had Humphrey Davies, who is very known in Egypt is a translator.  He translated Naguib Mahfouz before, and I’m very satisfied with both of them.  I think that when I wrote, as a matter of fact, before an article with the title “The Republic of Literature” in the sense that I believe that when you become a reader of fiction and you have before a good fiction, then readers become just readers, you see.  You don’t, I haven’t seen really very basic difference between the people before the art, before the art of fiction.  They become just human beings who would like really to enjoy reading and who can communicate with the characters on human [basis], and I believe this is one very precious role of literature because literature is reaching us basically that we could be different in color or could be different in religion or could be different in culture but we are having the same human heart and we are having basically the same human feelings, and that’s how I see literature.

Alaa Al Aswany reveals the key to translating literature into other languages.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less