Catalan author Victor Obiol will not eventually translate black poet Amanda Gorman, the inaugural star of US President Joe Biden, because a “profile” a month in the Netherlands is not enough.
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“I was told I was not fit (…). They did not question my abilities, but they were looking for a different profile, a woman, young, activist and black, ”Mr Obiol told AFP on Wednesday.
A month ago, Mary Lucas Rizneweld, who uses the non-binary pronoun “Isle”, stopped translating Amanda Gorman into Dutch after she was outraged that a black translator had not been chosen.
William Shakespeare and translator of Oscar Wilde’s works, Mr. Obiols received a request from the Barcelona Publishing House Universe three weeks ago to publish a bilingual English-Catalan edition of the poem “The Hill We Claim with a Forward” in April. American television star Oprah Winfrey.
Upon completion of the translation, his editor was told in the United States that “he was not the right person”, Obiols said, adding that it was uncertain whether this rejection came from the editor of the original or operative version of the young African-American poet. .
“It’s very difficult, it can not be taken lightly. If I can not translate a poet, she is a 21st century American, young, black, American woman, so I can not translate Homer because I am not an 8th century Greek. Can’t translate, ”said the Catalan author.
The AFP was unable to get a reaction from the Universe, which, according to Mr Obiols, undertook to pay him for the work done.
Amanda Gorman, 22, became an international celebrity after reading, during the inauguration of US President Joe Biden on January 20, when she wrote “The Hill We Claim”, a poem inspired by the attack on the United States Capital, in which she declared that “democracy cannot be defeated.”
The French translation of Amanda Gorman’s work was produced by Belgian-Congolese singer Marie-Pierre Cacoma, whose stage name is Lous and Yakuza.