After the success of the 2011 and 2012 events, this year’s celebration of the literary festival Festivaletteratura in Mantova (Italy) saw another two translation slams. In the first, on 4 September, Spanish author Almudena Grandes met two Italian translators, Roberta Bovaia and Claudia Marinelli. On 7 September, French writer Mathias Énard took part in the second slam, with translators Vincenzo Barca and Daniele Petruccioli. Both slams were moderated by Giovanni Zucca.
The idea of organising translation slams at Festivaletteratura was borrowed from the New York PEN Festival. As a number of important foreign writers attend the Mantova festival, two of these are chosen each year to debate with two translators different versions of an unpublished text submitted by the author for that purpose. With the help of a moderator (and, if necessary, of an interpreter), the three of them discuss various solutions and approaches, and the audience can ask questions and participate in the debate. The interest aroused by these events has been surprising, with many people declaring afterwards that they had never previously given a thought to the importance of a good translation to the success of a book, but that from now on they would look out for the translator’s name when buying a book.
Two articles on the translation slams can be read here (http://www NULL.festivaletteratura NULL.it/news NULL.php?azione=dettaglio&id=1727) and here (http://www NULL.festivaletteratura NULL.it/news NULL.php?azione=dettaglio&id=1507) (in Italian).
Information and a video of the 2012 slam is available here (http://www NULL.festivaletteratura NULL.it/diciottotrenta/extra NULL.php).