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Friday, 07 June 2019 10:00

The Internationalization of Galician Literature in English Translation: New Opportunities in a More Welcoming Irish/British Book Market

The Internationalization of Galician Literature in English Translation: New Opportunities in a More Welcoming Irish/British Book Market

June 17–19, 2019

Concella de la Cultura Galega, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

For decades, the Anglophone book market has been defined in terms of its impenetrabilityand the reduced space accorded to literature translated from other languages. However, thesituation appears to be shifting over the past few years. Reports commissioned by LiteratureAcross Frontiers to investigate translation into English show that between 2000 and 2015,despite translation in general occupying only around 3 per cent of the market of contentcreation, literary translation had reached a higher percent of the share, at 4-5 per cent of theBritish and Irish book market. Even if this figure is relatively small, the number ofpublications is growing considerably, which means the total number of translations is alsoconstantly increasing. These findings point to an increased openness toward translation,particularly among British publishers and when it comes to fiction translated from otherEuropean languages. Among them, smaller literatures, understood as those written in lesstranslated languages while dependent on translation to reach an international readership,seem to be receiving special attention. This changing trend has been greatly influenced byorganisations like English PEN Translate, Literature Across Frontiers or Literature Ireland, aswell as by the increase and proliferation of new independent publishing houses, keen topromote translation. Small independent presses are becoming true pioneers of translationactivism in English, as evidenced by the fact that they accounted for 11 out of the 13 bookslong-listed in 2019 for the Man Booker International Prize, the most prestigious prize forforeign fiction in English.

Taking this new situation of openness in the British and Irish contexts as a starting point, thisevent will attempt to explore new opportunities for the internationalization of Galicianliterature in the Anglophone market. It will constitute a further step in the work towards thevisibilization of Galician literature beyond its frontiers started by the Consello da CulturaGalega years ago, which materialised last year in the event Internacionalizacion do librogalego, organised by the Comision de Accion Exterior of the Consello da Cultura Galega, incollaboration with the Galician publishers’ association Asociacion Galega de Editoras.

This event is structured around expert panels and public debates with the audience. It aims to promote dialogue among the various stakeholders and agents involved in order to identifynew strategies, promote synergies between academic contexts and British and Galicianpublishing initiatives and improve the interaction with public institutions in charge ofpromoting Galician literature. These panels will be supplemented with training workshopsspecifically addressed to Galician publishers and writers, organised in collaboration with theGalician Publishers' Association (AGE) and the Association of Writers in the GalicianLanguage (AELG) respectively.

These sessions will be of interest to literary translators aiming to work in the Anglophonemarket, Galician writers looking to internationalize their literary production, literary agents,Galician publishing houses with books to sell, administrative staff working in literary andcultural promotion and, in general, anyone interested in Galician literature and itstranslation.

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