How our translation club is going.

March 11, 2019



The Translation Club, a partnership between Capitolina Books and the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, started in January and is going strong. We have had short stories by Sérgio Tavares and Nara Vidal. In March, a special edition with Ana Maria Machado who will be present at the meeting and will give participants the opportunity to ask her questions and discuss her text.

In April, there will be a break. Then we will be back in May with a text from Lucas Verzola. We aim to follow this schedule, subject to minor changes in case there is a visit from one of the authors. 

June: Itamar Vieria Junior, July: Eltânia André, (Summer holiday in August, so we are off to enjoy some sunshine, we always hope.) September: Xico Sá, October: Juliana Diniz, November: Alê Mota, January: Clodie Vasli, February: Carla Bessa, March: Decio Zylbersztajn, Maio: Ronaldo Cagiano, Junho: Jacques Fux.


We also must acknowledge the generous contribution from our volunteer translators, who are professionals immensely contribute to enrich our discussions and propose brilliant English translations to the Brazilian short stories which are originally in Portuguese. 

In March, we will have Bianca Costa as our guest translator. She is working on a short story by Ana Maria Machado.

In January, guest translator was Elton Uliana. He worked on "Fome" by Sergio Tavares before opening for discussion with the rest of the group. In February we had Emyr Humphreys who translated "Marelena" by Nara Vidal. It was a very enriching session with a lot of discussion.

Both Uliana and Humphreys have kindly allowed us to publish here an extract from their translation. Enjoy reading them and please note that sharing this content is not allowed without the translators permission. Contact us if you are interested in publishing the texts below. 




"Fome" by Sérgio Tavares from the title "Cavala" - Translated by Elton Uliana.



At this moment, my body in abstinence begins to react. A rage explodes in splashes of boiling blood through the rigid muscles, burning the reigns that control this voracious, thirsty, insatiable animal. I’m throbbing between my legs and I can no longer keep them closed. He remains in the doorway, exactly where I want him, debilitated, a sloppy secretion stained by iodine dripping, all rotten.


I look into his eyes and slowly open my legs. I unveil my viscous, wet sex, a rose bud. Exposed, I reveal myself to him, a bitch rolling over on heat. At first he remains motionless and even if he is pathetically numbed, I can no longer stop, I’ll have to satisfy myself - but, gradually, his face begins to change into something frightening, something which, in any other situation, would have scared me.


Elton Uliana is a Brazilian translator and is affiliated to the Centre of Translations Studies from University College London. 


"Marelena" by Nara Vidal from the title "A loucura dos outros"  - Translated by Emyr Humphreys.



Marelena was already on her third kind of medication by the time she was eight years old. It all started with the sheets. She was like a cat on hot bricks because of the bloody sheets. She wanted symmetry, everything all neatly put into boxes. “Over my dead body,” I shouted one day, I was so angry and exhausted. I started reading about this obsession of hers and realised that I couldn’t argue with her about it, but I couldn’t help losing my patience with her either. I worried about her, I wanted that strange obsession to stop, I wanted her back, all scruffy, her feet grubby from playing so much. It was so long since I’d last laughed to myself, gathering up the dishes and thinking of those little feet, all dark with that kind of dirt that never completely washes off. My poor Marelena. I felt ashamed, but I would just get so angry that she couldn’t stop that rubbish. When the bed wasn’t made exactly the way she wanted, she would scream in hate. It was an impossible kind of hate, you know? There was no way we could set those sheets right. She thought there was. She would get out of bed and set them right, end to end; then she would get into bed and mess them up again; then she would scream and do it all again. One night she actually fell asleep because she screamed so much. She screamed herself to sleep.



Emy Humphreys is from Wales and is a literary translator.


We thank both translators Uliana and Humphreys for allowing us to publish an extract of their work. 


To buy Brazilian titles, click here

To attend the next Brazilian Translation Club, register here.

To read a short story by Sérgio Tavares in English, click here. 

To read a short story by Nara Vidal in English, click here. 




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