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Creative writing handbook


A handbook that consists of all lectures delivered within the Sozopol seminar is available now, for Kindle and in pdf to download....

WEBSITE PRESENTING CONTEMPORARY BULGARIAN WRITERS IN ENGLISH

Contemporary Bulgarian Writers in English presents up-to-date profiles of living Bulgarian authors of fiction and short stories.
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FICTION PAGES

The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation and Vagabond, Bulgaria's English Monthly, cooperate in order to enrich the English language with translations of contemporary Bulgarian writers. Each month we give you the chance to read a selected excerpt of a Bulgarian writer. Some of the presented writers will be translated in English for the first time. Enjoy our fiction pages.
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Interviews
Aglika Markova on the Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
When I was at the University. My fingers were itching at the thought that I could read things no one else in my circle of friends had access to. Mind you, that was in the 1960s, English was just the third preferred language after German and French. In addition, English-language books were not that easy to find. I wanted my friends to read what I read and admired, and I felt capable of recreating it in Bulgarian.

What was the first literary work you translated?
The first ever short story I translated and saw published was one by a very popular US writer. Much to my shame, I cannot remember his name - or the title for that matter. It was the poetic love story of two young Americans, and it was published in the “Narodna mladezh” daily. For those who are in their twenties and thirties now, this was one of the ideological mainstays of my time, the newspaper of the Communist youth organization. Yet the editors welcomed the story. Which comes to prove that, despite official censorship, good taste predominated in Bulgarian intellectual circles and ideology did not succeed in destroying it.

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
It used to be to convince the official censorship that the book, albeit written by an English or an American, truly reflected the life of the average person in the West, thereby automatically criticizing capitalist society and its regressive ideas. Now the difficulties are much more genuine. I think the most difficult task for a translator is to find a writer, with whom he/she “speaks the same language”, i.e. shares the same values. Once you have found your writer, your task becomes easier. You “only” have to rewrite the book in your native tongue.

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Svetlana Komogorova - Komata on the Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
In high school. After 7th grade, I was wandering whether to go to an art school or to study English properly. Finally, I chose the English Language School in Plovdiv. I wanted to be able to translate John Lennon's lyrics.

What was the first literary work you translated?
Do song lyrics count here? If they do, that should be In the Attics of My Life by Grateful Dead. When I started translating fiction, my first published translations were of some children's stories, I can't quite remember neither the titles nor the authors. But my first translation that got noticed was of Truckers by Terry Pratchett.

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
Boring texts. Nothing is more difficult than translating something which bores you to death. At the beginning of my career, I had to translate some Jacky Collins... Well that was the hardest thing to do, because I absolutely hated it. But I am lucky to like almost 80 per cent of what I translate. That is a pretty good percentage, I would say.

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Margarita Dogramadzhian on the Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
About 25 years ago. It all started in Plovdiv when an editor and friend of mine encouraged me to do some translating for the Trakia literary magazine.

What was the first literary work you translated?
A short story by Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer and, later, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. A very ambitious first attempt, but I was lucky because I had a good and experienced editor.

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
It’s the research I have to do – on clothes, cuisine, technical terms, etc. And it’s not easy to translate puns.

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Milen Ruskov on the Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
In 2001, I even remember the month – January.

What was the first literary work you translated?
For They Know Not What They Do: Enjoyment as a Political Factor by Slavoj Žižek. I actually began my career as a translator in the sphere of the humanities, and still like it very much even if I don't work in it anymore.

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
Pretty simple: the language itself, and its figures.

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Nadezhda Radulova on the Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
I’ve been seriously engaged with literary translation since 2003.

What was the first literary work you translated?
An excerpt from Tony Morrison’s novel Beloved (published in “Literaturen Vestnik” (Literary Newspaper) during the 90es).

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
The fact that I am not always in the position to choose the authors for translation. For me it is boring and hard to translate a text, which I don’t like. Such a task, however, has a disciplining effect.

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Yordan Kosturkov - The Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
When I was in high school, 10th and 11th grade.

What was the first literary work you translated?
A comic short story by Hector Hugh Munro (Saki).

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
Translation has never been well-paid and one has to be able to afford it as a luxury.

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Iglika Vassileva - The Art of Translation Print E-mail

When did you start translating?
My first translation came out in 1983, which means twenty six years ago.

What was the first literary work you translated?
Changing by Liv Ullmann.

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
There is no common denominator for all the different kinds of difficulties a translator encounters, because these depend on the different authors. As a whole the difficulties of a translation depend on the author, not on the translator. The specific problems with translating Joyce are not the same as those with translating Paul Auster, for example.

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