Jeudi en résidence #31 avec Lina Mounzer (event in English)

Writing as an Act of Translation by Lina Mounzer

Questions of translation have always been central to Lina Mounzer’s writing. It seems to her that there is a kind of estrangement in the act of writing that can only really be described as translation. But she has never been interested in this as just an abstract question: when “living” in one language and writing about it in another, questions of technique, of how to render the feeling and character of a place in a language not its own, sometimes become ethical issues. Living in the Arab world and writing about it in English means inevitably grappling with questions of violence, erasure, misrepresentation and audience expectation. One cannot help but remain constantly alert to possible multiple readings of the text and what it might mean in wider political contexts. How, in that case, to render the most “natural” translation possible, and how to navigate that estrangement from place and language in a way that might serve the work instead of detracting from it?

Thursday 2 December, Jan Michalski Foundation