Interview with Joaquim Mallafrè. Catalan translator of Ulysses by Joyce


The interest for this work is due, apart from the plot, classical references, and allusions, to the richness of popular and learned language. It includes a very complete bibliography of Ulysses in English, from the word index to references to several fields. In Catalan, we can find specialized glossaries, dictionaries and translations of the works mentioned and other tools that facilitate the translation of special references, word plays and the use of rhetorical devices, which search the fidelity to Joyce in the Catalan version. Role of trilogy Proust-Kafka-Joyce in the literature of the 20th century.

The similarities of political, religious, historical and cultural references in general can make it easier to get an accurate reading of a work rooted in the western tradition. The new techniques step us away from the Guttenberg galaxy, in which Ulysses is one of the last and most brilliant manifestations.

[Automatic translation from Catalan]:

Joyce is not an easy author, and Ulysses in particular seems one of the most difficult works to translate into any language. Why this choice to translate Joyce’s Ulysses?

This is the story of a transgression. Something you say: Man, it’s very good! But it turns out these good works are forbidden, so… see if I read it!

In class they say that Joyce is an important 20th-century author, but it turns out that when I go to bookshops I cannot find his novels. Then I see a movie called «The Young Lions» in which they smoke a beating at Montgomery Clift because he reads Ulysses.

So these are elements that when you’re a teenager, you say: Wow! James Joyce’s Ulysses! And that it was banned in Russia and that it was forbidden by the Nazis, that it was banned in England… I thought: This is a work you must read! […]

Mercè Rigo I Grimalt
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