Coetzee: Spanish rendition more faithful than his English original

Coetzee has told the Spanish-speaking press that the Spanish translation of “El Polaco” reflects his intentions more clearly than the original English text does. That he chose to publish the translation first through El Hilo de Ariadna reflects his distrust of the language through which he has become such a venerated figure.

“I do not like the way in which English is taking over the world,” he declared, at the Hay literary festival. “I do not like the way in which it crushes the minor languages that it finds in its path. I don’t like its universalist pretensions, by which I mean its uninterrogated belief that the world is as it seems to be in the mirror of the English language. I don’t like the arrogance that this situation breeds in its native speakers. Therefore, I do what little I can to resist the hegemony of the English language.”

(Excerpted from J. M. Coetzee’s War Against Global English)

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