Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.
Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.
Fantastic writing in English is kind of disreputable, but fantastic writing in translation is the summit.
Every language is a world. Without translation, we would inhabit parishes bordering on silence.
As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.
I'm interested in the murky areas where there are no clear answers - or sometimes multiple answers. It's here that I try to imagine patterns or codes to make sense of the unknowns that keep us up at night. I'm also interested in the invisible space between people in communication; the space guided by translation and misinterpretation.
I wrote 'Yellow Submarine' for the Beatles. I wrote the screenplay for 'The Games,' about the Olympic Games. I wrote 'Love Story,' both the novel and the screenplay. I wrote 'RPM' for Stanley Kramer. Plus, I wrote two scholarly books and a 400-page translation from the Latin, and I dated June Wilkinson!
When a translation is very good, it is fascinating to see how the book changes and yet stays the same. I think 'Out Stealing Horses' sounds more American for Americans than it does in Norway, and still, it is all there, everything that I wrote. It's amazing.
A screenplay is really an instruction manual, and it can be interpreted in any number of ways. The casting, the choice of location, the costumes and make-up, the actors' reading of a line or emphasis of a word, the choice of lens and the pace of the cutting - these are all part of the translation.
I did not have a very literary background. I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.