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Celebrating French Literature in Translation: Julie Rose & Brian Nelson

Thursday 12 April

Boyd Community Centre, Melbourne

During this evening dedicated to the translation of French literature, Brian Nelson read from, and commented on, his new translation of Marcel Proust, Swann in Love (Oxford World’s Classics, 2017), and Julie Rose spoke about translating the many voices of Victor Hugo in Les Misérables (Modern Library Classics).

Photo by Di Cousens

Photo by Di Cousens

The 2017 AALITRA Symposium: Translating Australian Literature

Saturday 16 September

Boyd Community Centre, Melbourne

This event, exploring the role of translation in spreading cultural knowledge and introducing Australian writers to readers around the world, was presented thanks to generous support from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Photo by Di Cousens

Photo by Di Cousens


Alice Pung spoke with Leah Gerber about her experience of literary translation, referring to the translation of her book Unpolished Gem into Italian, German and Indonesian. She also discussed her experiences in Italy where she spoke about literary translation at the University of Bologna, the University of Milan and the University of Pisa with her Italian translator and friend Adele D’Arcangelo.

Click here to watch the video of Alice and Leah’s conversation.



Photo by Di Cousens


Novelist Karen Viggers talked about her translated books in general and offered insights into the successful marketing of her work in France, in particular. Her books have been translated into French, Italian, Norwegian, Slovenian and Spanish, and have enjoyed great success in France, selling more than 400,000 copies to date and winning a French Award. The Lightkeeper’s Wife (La Memoire des embrunswas on the French National Bestseller list for more than 32 weeks.

Click here to watch the video of Karen’s presentation.


Photo by Di Cousens

Photo by Di Cousens


Photo by Di Cousens

Photo by Di Cousens

Lily Yulianti Farid and Paul Thomas discussed the role literary translation has in spreading cultural knowledge between Indonesia and Australia, referring to the ‘sound’ of the Australian novel in translation, and the impressions that Indonesians might get from reading Australian literature.

Click here to watch the video of Paul and Lily’s conversation.

(Thanks to Erik Beyersdorf for video production.)

Photo by Di Cousens

Photo by Di Cousens









Awards Ceremony (AALITRA Translation Prize 2016)

 Awards Ceremony

(AALITRA Translation Prize, 2016)


The winners in the AALITRA Translation Prize (2016) will be announced at an Awards Ceremony to be held at the China Cultural Centre Sydney (Level 1, 151 Castlereagh St, Sydney) on Tuesday 13 September at 6.30pm.

The AALITRA Translation Prize aims to acknowledge the wealth of literary translation skills present in the Australian community. Prizes are awarded for a translation of a selected prose text and for a translation of a selected poem, with the focus on a different language each time the prize is offered. Winners will be awarded a cash prize, a book prize, and one year’s membership of AALITRA. Prize-winning entries will be read aloud at the Awards Ceremony, and will be published in the Association’s peer-reviewed open-access journal, The AALITRA Review along with a few words from each of the translators.

In 2016, the focus language was Chinese. The prose text for translation is by A Yi (阿乙). The poetry text is by Rong Rong (荣荣).

Prizes in each section have been donated by the China Cultural Centre in Sydney.

Free admission. Refreshments will be served. RSVP by 3 September to info@cccsydney.org or (02) 8228 3050.

The Italian Cultural Institute in Melbourne has announced a translation prize (Italian > English) open to residents of VIC, SA, TAS and WA. Click here for more information.



Stathis Gauntlett, FAHA

Thursday 26 May, 6.30-8.30pm

Kathleen Syme Library, 251 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC

Literary translation was initially a displacement activity in which I indulged in the margins of sabbaticals in Greece and Cyprus whenever the opportunity arose to collaborate with interesting authors.  The products were published in Australian literary journals, unadorned by commentary.  Translation remained a mere parergon until I was persuaded to try producing book-length scholarly translations complete with annotations and analysis that the bean-counters might regard as academic research.
This talk focuses on three such volumes, published over the last twelve years, the most recent being The Last Varlamis by Thanasis Valtinos, a contemporary text of indeterminate genre, to be launched with some fanfare in London on 13 May.
The other translations I shall discuss are the Cypriot novella “The Gangsters” by Lefkios Zafiriou and Erotokritos by Vitsentzos Kornaros, a 10,000-verse Cretan Renaissance romance that took three of us five years to translate and annotate.
My reflections on the experience of Englishing these quite different texts raise issues specific to translating from Greek (a highly inflected language with a history of diglossia, transliteration problems, and politico-cultural minefields to negotiate, inter alia), but also challenges or vexations of more general applicability (such as dialect, intertextuality, postcolonial translation, mission-creep, publishing, reviewers) — all of which will be tempered with recollections of the many ways in which the translation process enhanced the pleasures of a literary text.
Stathis Gauntlett is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and currently a Senior Research Associate of the University of Melbourne, where he was first appointed to the foundation lectureship in Modern Greek in 1973.  He retired from the Dardalis Chair of Hellenic Studies at La Trobe University in 2006.  Among his publications are books on rebetika (‘Greek blues’), articles on Greek literature and oral traditions, and literary translations.

Focus language for 2016 AALITRA Translation Prize

We are excited to announce that the focus language for the 2016 AALITRA Translation Prize is Chinese.

More details to follow very soon!

Coming Soon

AALITRA AGM with guest speaker Stathis Gauntlett (Thursday 26 May, 6.30pm at Kathleen Syme Library, 251 Faraday St, Carlton).