When I first saw the words “Literary Genres in Translation” I resorted back to elementary school and thought about the words separately to figure out what the heck this class was going to be about. Obviously a literature class, but “genres in translation”? Oka,y so works from other places? I had honestly not read many works from authors that were translated into English, at least not consciously. I had read kids books like The Little Prince and The Thief Lord when I was younger without thinking about how they were originally written in other languages. I guess thats the privilege I have of having access to so much literature that the origins of it get lost. This class attempted to teach me the origins of translated literature and its importance in our society.
I enjoyed the books we read in class. Particularly Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik and Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera. These books are proof that there is talent out there that is just waiting to be found. These books also showed that it is not only American writers that can get into the the Sci-Fi game or have fascinating mythology to be explored.
I think the biggest take away from this class is that it made me think more about what I read. I usually look at the top 10 list of a bookstore and see what sounds interesting. I have never thought about the small publishing companies that make it their mission to publish little known books from other countries. What if I’m missing out on a potential favorite book just because its not widely known? It’s not the author’s fault that this country thinks about ME ME ME all the time. I’m glad we read such great books in class because I now want to explore what else is out there other than the American perspective. How do people view us? What kind of teen experiences do other countries have? These are the questions I’m sure people have answered in their own language but I’ve been too busy thinking about my own view.
Thank you Professor Baker for introducing great readings and providing a good atmosphere in class. See you next semester!