I’m a regular listener of the excellent CBC show Ideas. It’s broadcast weeknights in Canada (anyone anywhere can listen to the streaming audio feed) but they also put up a show each week on their podcast feed.
Last week was the third and last episode of In Other Words (23 MB MP3), produced and presented by Barbara Nichol. It’s about literary translation. Nichol talks to translators about the relationship between the translation and the original work: is it like a writer doing a stage adaptation of a novel? Like a musician performing a composed piece of music? Like an actor performing a character on stage, reading the writer’s words but with his own inflections and actions?
You know what those all are: different expressions of the same work. The translators agree that doing a translation is like being an actor performing someone else’s work. There are cases where there is special inspiration, though, when the translation becomes its own work of art. In FRBR, are some translations their own works? Alexander Pope’s translation of The Iliad is a good one to consider this way, I think.
I recommend downloading the show and keeping FRBR in mind while you listen. If you like good radio, subscribe to the podcast feed.