Does the loyalty of a translator lie with the author or with the reader? This is a perennial question raised at The Select Centre’s Translation Labs.
In 2015, Canopy’s founding editor Tan Dan Feng, was invited to speak in Korea on literary translation alongside Deborah Smith, who would later go on to win the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, together with the author. The attention drawn by the win subsequently ignited a debate in literary and translation circles over the degree of “creative licence” that a literary translator should have.
The New Yorker’s Jiayang Fan covers some of the interesting points raised in this post .