From 28 September to 1 October 2017, Gothenburg Book Fair (https://goteborg-bookfair NULL.com) hosted ´Room for Translation´, a programme with talks on literary translation. International Translation Day (30 September) was celebrated with a panel discussion about ‘Strategies of Loneliness’ – three renowned translators discussed loneliness and cooperation in our profession as well as lust for translation, all in honour of St Jerome (Hieronymus). Other seminars included lectures and panels on topics ranging from ‘Translating from Swedish to Swedish’ to ‘Meetings of Translator and Writer’.
One of the keynote lectures was given by Dr Kate Sturge (http://www NULL.aston NULL.ac NULL.uk/lss/staff-directory/dr-kate-sturge/) of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin on the topic of ‘Literary Translation in Nazi Germany’. She pointed out that translation per se cannot be neutral. Among other things, she talked about her research into how Scandinavian and Swedish literature in Nazi Germany was translated into German, and how in some cases these translations were edited to suit Nazi policy – often only through the German title or the book cover.
Ironically, Ms Sturge’s lecture coincided with a march that Swedish Neo-Nazis had planned through the streets of Gothenburg. As a consequence, the International Translation Day seminars had very few people in the audience: many writers, journalists and translators were among the 10,000 people who took to the streets to stop the Nazi march. And they succeeded! The Nazis didn’t even get to start marching; in the late afternoon, after a long impasse with police and ordinary people, they had to give up.
The ambitious programme in ‘Room for Translation’ was made possible mainly through the hard work of Daniel Gustafsson of Valand Academy in Gothenburg and John Swedenmark of the Translators’ Section of the Swedish Writers’ Union, and with financial support of the Writers’ Union, Översättarcentrum, Kulturrådet, and the Universities of Gothenburg and Stockholm, among others.