29 September, 4pm-6pm. Lecture: “Scottish Crime Fiction (Tartan Noir) in Spanish: The Strange Case of Christopher Brookmyre.” Elisa Calvo (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain), followed by an interview with Christopher Brookmyre.
For literary translators, the “tartan noir” genre represents an interesting challenge worthy of more in-depth analysis. The genre is very popular in the United Kingdom and in several other countries, including Germany and France, but the term “tartan noir” does not yet seem to have aroused much interest within the Spanish publishing sector, at least not to an extent comparable to that of, say, Scandinavian or Italian crime fiction.
The Scottish author with the most works currently translated into Spanish is Ian Rankin, and other exponents of the genre, such as Denise Mina and Val McDermid, have had individual novels translated. These authors, however, are not usually perceived by Spanish readers as belonging to the same literary family.
Here we focus on the highly distinctive work of Christopher Brookmyre. Although he has already been translated into a number of languages, Brookmyre has not yet achieved the success his work might be expected to deserve among Spanish crime fiction fans. With just one of twenty-six novels currently available in Spanish, what are the barriers that his work has come up against in Spanish language literary markets? And what translation-related issues make his work particularly worthy of analysis in our field of study?
Brookmyre’s lively, provocative, humour-laden prose, with its coarse language, its paradoxical characters and dialogues and its references to everyday Scottish life, provides us with an excellent opportunity to observe the challenges and problems that have to be overcome by translators in order to successfully adapt a text from one linguistic-cultural context to another.
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Elisa Calvo is a senior lecturer in Translation in the Department of Languages and Translation, Universidad Pablo de Olavide (UPO, Seville), where she has been teaching and carrying out research since 2006. Elisa studied Translation and Interpreting in Granada (Spain) where she also earned her PhD (2009). She has worked as a professional translator, both freelance and in-house. From 2001 to 2016, she was a member of the Avanti research group at the University of Granada. At present, she is a founding member of the Interglosia research group (HUM-996) at the UPO. She also cooperates with the COMUNICA Observatory on Public Service Translation and Interpreting. Elisa has taught translation and interpreting at different institutions (Heriot Watt University, University of Granada, UPO, UIMP-ISTRAD, UAX) at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her fields of interest are professional intercultural communication processes, translation research methods, and translation and interpreting teaching and learning.
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Chris Brookmyre is the author of twenty-six crime and SF novels, including Quite Ugly One Morning, All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye and Black Widow, which won the 2016 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and was named the 2017 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Under the pseudonym Ambrose Parry, he has collaborated with his wife, Marisa Haetzman, to produce the historical crime novels The Way of All Flesh, The Art of Dying and A Corruption of Blood, which depict life at the cutting edge of Edinburgh medicine in the Nineteenth Century.
8 December, 15:00-17:00. Multilingual readings of Look, Breathe. The poems in Chris Powici’s latest collection, Look, Breathe, are paired with translations (and sometimes translocations) into the various of languages of Scotland and others across the globe. This event will comprise the readings of selected poems and their translations by the participants (Chris Powici, Kevin MacNeil, Alison Miller, Gayathri Prabhu and Roderick Watson) and a Q&A session.
Chris Powici is a poet who teaches creative writing at The University of Stirling and The Open University.
Kevin MacNeil is a leading Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter, born and raised in the Outer Hebrides. His most recent novel, The Brilliant & Forever, was shortlisted for the Saltire Fiction of the Year Award. Kevin teaches creative writing at the University of Stirling.
Alison Miller was born and grew up in Orkney and has returned after many years in Glasgow. She writes, reads and lives by the sea.
The God of Rain’ was translated into Kannada by Geetha Prabhu, an amateur naturalist and avid photographer who lives in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, India. The translation was facilitated by her daughter Gayathri Prabhu, who was the Charles Wallace India Writing Fellow at the University of Stirling from February to May 2020.
Roderick Watson has written widely on modern Scottish literature. His poems feature in numerous anthologies and two main poetry collections. A new collection is forthcoming. He is an Emeritus Professor in English Studies at the University of Stirling.