Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry


Between the Lines: Conversations in Translation

What makes translation creative? What happens when we read translations? Go to 'Between the Lines' to hear translators in conversation about their work. As well as translators, writers, critics talk personally and freely with Timothy Mathews about different experiences of translation. Publishers of translations talk about discovering books in different languages and about making them accessible.

These conversations tell stories about the lives of books in different languages, and about giving writers new lives in new languages. They are informal and unedited, and open to anyone who loves reading. Listen to people talking about how translation enhances the fun of literature instead of diluting it. Hear about the intimate and unheard conversations that go on inside translation itself.

You can also hear about plays performed in translation, or in their original language but not their original country. Are you interested in art? Hear about translating between word and image. Are you interested in the creative process? Hear about how translation can ignite it.

Between the Lines is run by Professor Timothy Mathews, School of European Languages Culture and Society, UCL, and was jointly conceived with Simon Cooke, Post Doctoral Fellow in English at Edinburgh University. If you would like further information please email Georgia Panteli at g.panteli@ucl.ac.uk.

Between the Lines Podcasts

Agnès Thurnauer - Word and Image, Love and Light

Timothy Mathews talks with Agnès Thurnauer in her studio in Paris about the relation between word and image in her paintings. About art as translation, witness and transformation of the past, and as a confident engagement with the present.  Word and image disrupt each other in Agnès Thurnauer’s paintings, but also work together to invite viewers to imagine generous relations between women and men.

Pleasure, Pain & the Capacity to Relate

Psychoanalysis and the arts have always been companions: Freud draws on Sophocles and Michelangelo, Jung on Hesse, Lacan on Sophocles too. These are acts of translation between different ways of thinking and working, different ways of experiencing society and each other.

Clive Scott - Literary Translation

Timothy Mathews talks with Clive Scott about literary translation and his publication 'Literary Translation and the Rediscovery of Reading'.  

Joyce Crick - Freud and Kafka in English

Timothy Mathews speaks with Joyce Crick about her explorations in English of Freud and Kafka. A highlight is the way she hears the word Schuld which is German for guilt. 

Steve Waters - Translating Conflict

Steve Waters talks with Timothy Mathews. Steve Waters is a playwright whose work has been performed at the Bush Theatre London, The Hampstead Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse and the Sheffield Crucible.

Maureen Freely - Engaged Translation

Maureen Freely talks with Timothy Mathews. Maureen Freely has translated five books by Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature: 'Snow', 'The Black Book', 'Istanbul: Memories of a City', 'Other Colours' and 'The Museum of Innocence'. She is the author of seven novels: 'Mother's Helper', 'The Life of the Party', 'The Stork Club', 'Under the Vulcania', 'The Other Rebecca', 'Enlightenment'; 'Sailing through Byzantium' is published in October.

Adam Freudenheim - Translation at Pushkin Press

Timothy Mathews talks with Adam Freudenheim, the Managing Director of Pushkin Press, about acquiring Pushkin Press, and about the exciting new series of children's literature in translation at Pushkin. Together they talk about Andrés Neuman, 'Traveller of the Century', translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza García, which has been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. The conversation turns to the Pushkin Press translations of Stefan Zweig by Anthea Bell and of Marcel Aymé by Sophie Lewis.

Margaret Jull Costa - Translation and Reading

Timothy Mathews talks with the acclaimed, multi-award winning translator Margaret Jull Costa about her work with Bernardo Atxaga, Fernando Pessoa, José Maria Eça de Queiroz, and José Saramago among many other writers working in Spanish and Portuguese as well as Basque. Her top tip for new translators? Read!

Daniel Hahn - Translating contemporary novels from French and Portuguese

Timothy Mathews talks with Daniel Hahn about the linguistic, cultural and personal experiences of translating literary works into English, and the discussion turns in particular to 'The Book of Chameleons', by the Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa, and 'The Piano Cemetery' by the Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto.

Anthea Bell and Jo Catling - Translating W.G. Sebald

W G Sebald, who died in 2001, was a much loved writer of books about pain, especially the pain of the Holocaust. This is the residual pain filtering into the lives of individuals who did not live at the time of the Holocaust and were not there, but who are still affected in diverse ways, sometimes devastating, sometimes understated. These are life-enhancing stories, novels and essays, and they tell of experiences which are at the heart of literature, translation, and literature in translation.