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Meet the Translator – The Sky Over Lima, Andrea Rosenberg

3rd June, 2016

A. Rosenberg 300

Oneworld: What books are in your “to read” pile?

Andrea Rosenberg: I’ve got a couple of books I’ll be translating next, plus a couple I’m interested in possibly translating. In addition, I’m looking forward to reading Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time; Tove Jansson’s The Listener, translated by Thomas Teal; and Edith Sodergran’s On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems, translated by Malena Mörling and Jonas Ellerström.

Oneworld: Where do you write?

AR: I do my work wherever I happen to be living at the moment. Sometimes in bed, sometimes on a sofa, sometimes even at a desk! I don’t generally go to cafés—I don’t get as much done.

Oneworld: What’s your biggest literary pet peeve?

AR: Bad writing. Pretty much anything else we fault a book for might be done skillfully in another text. For example, I’m not really a fan of salt-of-the-earth characters and folksiness, leaning more toward the exquisite and the philosophical—texts others might call pretentious. But who could deny the absolute genius of T. R. Pearson’s A Short History of a Small Place? So it’s not a particular trope or technique that annoys me, but a failure to deploy it effectively. I know “bad writing” will probably be seen as a cop-out answer—I guess I know it when I see it?

Oneworld: What question do you always get asked?

AR: People always assume I read a lot (truth: I wish I read more!), so they ask me for book recommendations. From my friends, I often hear, “Wait, where are you now? I can’t keep up!”

Oneworld: What question do you wish we had asked?

AR: How I’m most productive: I swear it’s not a rationalization to assert that I actually get work done more efficiently on vacation than in day-to-day life. Because of that, I’ve started incorporating little personal retreats in lovely places into my life. Taking my workaholic tendencies on the road offers me extraordinary stimulation and even inspiration. Staring at the ocean in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay, or the mountains in Bariloche, Argentina; beginning my day with a few hours of translation and ending it with a hike—these experiences have profoundly enriched my work life.

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