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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....


Contemporary Bulgarian Writers in English presents up-to-date profiles of living Bulgarian authors of fiction and short stories.
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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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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?
Itís the research I have to do Ė on clothes, cuisine, technical terms, etc. And itís not easy to translate puns.

Could you tell us something about the influence an author, an editor or a publisher can exert over your translation?
Translators depend on their editors the way children depend on their parents, especially in the beginning. And this bond may be very fruitful. Or a destructive one. I was really lucky Zheni Bozhilova agreed to edit my translation of "The White Tiger" - the name speaks for itself.

What makes a good translation?
The ability of a translator to convey the spirit of the author.

What were your greatest challenges with the translation (s) which won the award ("The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga)?
To make sure that this book about faraway India and its people has a natural sound to the Bulgarian reader.

Do you consider yourself as a co-author?
Well, not exactly. The translatorís work has to do with the form, not with the content. Does translating inspire you to write yourself? Itís tempting Ė being part of the creative process - but I am not sure Iíll ever be able to.