Jul 30, 2018
A recent fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Berlin) and visiting researcher at the Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Centre-Européennes (Sorbonne-Paris IV), Daniel Medin joined the faculty of The American University of Paris in January 2010. He has taught German, English and comparative literature at Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis and the Free University Berlin.
He is associate director of the Center for Writers and Translators and one of the editors of its Cahiers series (published jointly with Sylph Editions in London). He is also co-editor of Music & Literature magazine, edits The White Review’s annual translation issue, and advises several journals and presses on contemporary international fiction. A judge for the Best Translated Book Award in 2014 and 2015, he served on the jury of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.
We met in his office in Paris to discuss, among other things, translation as it pertains to book publishing, judging international translation prizes - prioritizing literary quality ('best' title wins) vs prioritizing a book on the basis of what winning would do for it (its effect, whether economic, political or symbolic); discoveries, music living due to its interpreter, following Michael Orthofer's Complete Review, Chad Post's Three Percent and Veronica Esposito; Fitzcarraldo Editions, loyalty, commercial pressure, New Directions, Archipelago Books, Transit Books, Olga Tokarczuk's novel Flights, 800 page books, meaning versus style, old versus new generational translations, footnotes, stealth glosses, mystery and google, Haruki Murakami, László Krasznahorkai and Serhiy Zhadan's novel Mesopotamia.