This Little Art
Original title: This Little Art
Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017
Genre: Long-form essay
Pages: 400 pages
An essay with the reach and momentum of a novel, Kate Brigg’s This Little Art is a genre-bending song for the practice of literary translation, offering fresh and timely thinking on reading, writing and living with the works of others. Taking her own experience of translating Roland Barthes’ lecture notes as a starting point, the author threads various stories together to give us this portrait of translation as a compelling, complex and intensely relational activity. She recounts the story of Helen Lowe-Porter’s translation of Thomas Mann, and their posthumous vilification. She writes about the loving relationship between André Gide and his translation of Dorothy Bussy. She recalls how Robinson Crusoe laboriously made a table, for him for the first time, on an undeserted island. With This Little Art, a beautifully layered account of a subjective translating experience, Kate Briggs emerges as a truly remarkable writer: distinctive, wise, frank, funny and utterly original.
Fitzcarraldo Editions: World rights.
Winje Agency: Sub-agent Nordic countries.