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Unread 03-14-2021, 08:45 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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Of course this is sheer idiocy. You could come up with countless examples of translators whose gender and overall background differed from the original author's in significant ways. It's almost inevitable, since the whole point of translation is to bring the work into a another language spoken in another country that has its own distinct culture and traditions.

It's also silly to think that an Afro-Dutch translator (even assuming that rather small community has talented young women translators to draw upon) bears much cultural relationship to African-Americans. The majority of Afro-Dutch people are refugees (or descended from refugees) who came to the Netherlands in recent decades seeking freedom, so the Netherlands is a haven for them. The majority of African-Americans came to the United States under quite different circumstances.

Anyway, this silly attitude obviously shows an ignorance of what translation is or how it functions. Any sane poet would rather be translated by the best poet in the target language than by a lesser poet who checks more demographic boxes.
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