Gdańskie Spotkania Literackie

Let us present the programme for “Found in Translation.” Fantasy

The Gdańsk Literary Meetings “Found in Translation” is the only literary festival dedicated entirely to translated literature. Instytut Kultury Miejskiej (City Culture Institute) is organising the fifth edition of the festival online between the 15th and 17th of April. This year’s themes are fantasy, surrealism and imagination.

The festival will begin on the 15th of April with Grzegorz Kasdepke’s lecture “On Imagination.” On that day, we will also talk with Dorota Masłowska and her translators into English, German, Spanish and Russian: Pau Freixa Terradas, Olaf Kühl, Irina Lappo and Benjamin Paloff.

Is translating unreal worlds different from translating literary realism? Can we even talk of the specific character of translating fantasy? Translating fantasy and fantasy translations will be discussed by Tomasz Pindel and Ewa Skórska (translator from Russian who translated the works of the Strugatsky brothers), Piotr W. Cholera (translator from English who translated the works of Terry Pratchett), Stanislavem Komárka and José María Faraldo (translators into Czech and Spanish who translated the works of Andrzej Sapkowski).

In the 70s, Anna Przedpełska-Trzeciakowska, the winner of this year’s Translation Award for lifetime achievement, inaugurated a translation seminar that nurtured a multitude of remarkable translators of our generation. These meetings that “started it all” will be discussed on the 16th of April, during the talk with Anna Przedpełska-Trzeciakowska, Anna Wasilewska and Jan Zieliński, conducted by Zofia Zalewska.

The topic of fantasy and surrealism will also be present on Saturday, the 17th of April, during the discussion on the translation of Stanisław Lem. The works of the author are quite a translation challenge, both on the linguistic-literary level, as well as the cognitive level. Our guests — Lem’s translators into different languages: Antonia Lloyd Jones (English), Abel Murcia (Spanish), Wiktor Jaźniewicz (Russian) and Laurence Dyevre  (French) — will share their experiences of working on Lem’s pieces. The discussion will be conducted by Szymon Kloska.

The art and craftmanship of translation will be presented during the translation sparring match between translators from Spanish, Wojciech Charchalis and Ewa Zaleska. Live, in front of an online audience, they will translate the same piece from Spanish to Polish. We can expect a fierce dispute over words, interpretations and cultural contexts.

Each edition of the Gdańsk Literary Meetings is accompanied by a publishing house that in its own way helps people get acquainted with topics important to translators: a selection of poems in translation, a collection of essays or interviews, and, recently, a comic book. In 2021, Instytut Kultury Miejskiej and the Karakter publishing house co-edited Tadeusz Sławek’s book Na okrężnych drogach. Tłumaczenie literackie i jego światy (On Devious Roads. Literary Translation and Its Worlds), in which the author contemplates philological, as well as philosophical, ethical and political implications of the translators’ attitudes. The meeting with the author, conducted by Magda Heydel, will take place on the 16th of April.
On the 17th of April, Agnieszka Taborska will talk about looking for help in surrealism in this crazy world. She will reference her book Świat zwariował. Poradnik surrealistyczny jak przeżyć (The World Has Gone Mad. A Surrealistic Guide on How to Stay Alive), which will be published soon. The last two meetings of the festival are: Tomasz Pindel’s talk with the festival’s special guest, Eduardo Mendoza, on what happens at the point of contact between the original and the translation, on the necessity of tension between the author and the translator, and, above all, on the common link between the two (literature); and the talk with Anna Przedpełska-Trzeciakowska, the winner of Translation Award of the Mayor of Gdańsk for lifetime achievement.

“Found in Translation” also touches upon the translation of literature into different languages of art and culture: Marcin Giżycki, documentary and animation film director, art and film historian and film critic, will talk about philosophising animation. Tomasz Majkowski (game scholar, popular culture and literature researcher), Paweł Frelik (global science fiction and visuality researcher), Magdalena Cielecka (video game industry representative) and Katarzyna Czajka-Kominiarczuk (pop culture critic and internet discourse representative) will talk about video games and imagination.

On the 16th of April, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Award of the Mayor of Gdańsk for lifetime achievement and for the translation of a single work will be granted. The nominees for the translation of a single work are: Wawrzyniec Brzozowski, Olga Czernikow, Leszek Engelking, Hanna Igalson-Tygielska, Maciej Płaza, Teresa Tyszowiecka blasK!, Ryszard Wojnakowski. Anna Przedpełska-Trzeciakowska, a translator of English and American literature, is a winner of the Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Award of the Mayor of Gdańsk for lifetime achievement.

The award committee is composed of:  Carlos Marrodán Casas, Jakub Ekier, Dobromiła Jankowska, Izabela Korybut-Daszkiewicz, Justyna Sobolewska, Marcin Szuster, Anna Wasilewska (the head of the committee).

All the meetings and events, including the gala and the presentation of the Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Award of the Mayor of Gdańsk will be streamed live on the Insytut Kultury Miejskiej and Odnalezione w tłumaczeniu Facebook page, as well as on the Instytut Kultury Miejskiej YouTube channel.

The event is organised by Instytut Kultury Miejskiej, a cultural institution of the City of Gdańsk.