Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond

ALTA 2013 Review - The Big Things

ALTA members, it's official. Because of this month's conference, I have fallen madly and thoroughly in love with each and every one of you.  Let me count the ways in which we are awesome together:

  • We like comics. Graphic novels. BDs. There's a small niche group of us who are doggedly pushing this wonderful form of storytelling in front of mainstream American readers. And it's all beautiful.
  • We are poets. Even those of us who don't think so. We care about semantics, how words sound, how they look on the page, how they feel in our mouth, what they mean and how they mean it. I always say that I envy poets, but in reality, I am one. Just like the rest of you. 
  • We give each other leads. There's none of the backstabbing that tends to plague so many creative and competitive professions. Instead, we share information about residencies and programs, about grants and awards, about other conferences, about publishers and magazines, about what works and what doesn't. 
  • We laugh together about the strangest things. E.g. Cole Swensen: "I don't have a solution for that. Well, that's not true, I do have a solution, but it's not nearly as interesting as the problem, so we'll skip over it."
  • We have big ideas. "Translation is writing, not decoding." "Exaggerate the quirks of your characters." "Focus on how you can help." "These are my words, but not my thoughts." 
  • We have an idea, then we git 'er done. ELTNA didn't exist at 8am on Friday the 18th. By 5pm, it was officially founded, and launched eleven days later.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to be an ALTAn (Altinian? Altese? Altite?) for many years to come.