The Millions

Best Translated Book Awards Spotlight: The Millions Interviews Laura Cesarco Eglin

Laura Cesarco Eglin’s fantastic translation of Hilda Hilst’s Of Death. Minimal Odes won this year’s Best Translated Book Award in poetry. A week after the prize was announced, Englin and I corresponded about the depth of Hilst’s work and the process of translating Of Death.

The Millions: First of all, congratulations. It was such a pleasure to read and discuss your translation with the other judges this year. How did you first begin to read Hilst’s work? Do you have other favorite books of hers?

I became acquainted with Hilda Hilst more than seven years ago when a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where I was because the Hebrew word in the title caught my attention. Whenever I read a book by Hilst it becomes my favorite book. Her work is profound, and it requires commitment and thought. Therefore, after choosing to include Hilst’s poetry in my doctoral dissertation, I soon realized that in order to fully engage with her work, reading would not be enough. I needed another way to go deeper into her work. I decided to translate her poetry as a way to live with her poems and ideas. That is: translation as reading, translation as re-reading, translation as inquiry, translation as interpretation, and translation as conversation.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Millions

The Millions8 min read
Mitchell Zuckoff on Writing His 9/11 Magnum Opus
It was the deepest dive I have ever taken. As much as I care about all of the work I’ve done, I knew I would never tell a more important story than this. The post Mitchell Zuckoff on Writing His 9/11 Magnum Opus appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions39 min read
Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2019 Book Preview
More than 100 books. New novels from Margaret Atwood, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Colson Whitehead. Zadie Smith short stories. What more could you want? (Except to have them all RIGHT NOW.) The post Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2019 Book Preview
The Millions5 min read
Edwidge Danticat Depicts a New Haiti
Some of the characters have never experienced the horrors that the author’s earlier characters fled; many live in America. The post Edwidge Danticat Depicts a New Haiti appeared first on The Millions.