Grand Hotel Europa, a tribute to literary translators

If you’re in Brussels in early December and if you’re in any way interested in literary translation, then the following event might just be the thing for you.

Organized by PETRA, the European Platform for Literary Translation (or “Plateforme européenne pour la traduction littéraire”), “Grand Hotel Europa” is intended as a tribute to literary translators. It is one of a number of events that will be organized between December of this year and March 2012 with that aim in mind, and as such it is an initiative that, I think, deserves to be applauded and supported.

The event is being held on 2 December at the Flagey Centre for the Arts in Brussels. Tickets will apparently be available directly from Flagey, but since the event itself is not yet mentioned on their website, you might have to wait before booking your ticket.

The two speakers on the programme are the writer and translator Alberto Manguel, the author of A History of Reading (1996, below left), and Michael Cunningham, the author of The Hours (1998, below centre). Regardless of what one might think of these writers or their works, the event might still be an interesting one, since we are told that translators from all over Europe will be making live translations of work by Fernando Pessoa (pictured below right is Always Astonished, a selection of Pessoa’s prose translated by Edwin Honig and published by City Lights in 1988).

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