ESTADO DE AVANCE (2009-2013)
“Programa SUR” for translation support: A new direction for Argentine thought and literature
In 2009, the “Organising Committee for the Participation of Argentina as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010” (COFRA), at the Argentine Foreign Office, launched Programme SUR (PROSUR) as one of its key initiatives. The intent was to promote Argentine literature and thought worldwide by means of grants awarded for the translation of works by Argentinian writers into all the languages requested.
Concluded the programme's originary phase, it can be said that this proposal has become an unprecedented success for the policy promoting Argentine culture abroad, not only for its promising effect on the superb international stage provided by this fair, but for the blissful context provided by the Bicentennial celebrations of the Argentine Republic in 2010 as well.
The original plan consisting in 20 grants was quickly raised to 100. In less than eight months, applications submitted had already exceeded that figure, for which COFRA President Ambassador Magdalena Faillace requested and obtained from the Foreign Affairs Minister the possibility to extend the programme with 50 further grants. As these new grants were also rapidly covered, the Minister again extended the programme to the amount equivalent to 75 new grants. In the ambit of the Buenos Aires Book Fair, Ambassador Magdalena Faillace, former COFRA´s President, announced the continuity of PROSUR as a permanent State policy. This first stage of the programme ended April 30 and for over twenty days different presentations arrived by post. In order to contemplate all of these presentations Foreign Office officials increased the PROSUR budget. Thus, Programme SUR finally approved 704 works to be translated to a considerable number of languages and with an approximate budget of USD 1.555.000.
The development of the programme has been enhanced by the presence of distinguished personalities from the literary, cultural and publishing industry integrating the “Translations Committee” entrusted with assessing the applications. In addition to former COFRA President and current Director of Cultural Affairs Ambassador Magdalena Faillace, Horacio González (sociologist and Director of the National Library), Noé Jitrik (literary critic and writer), Mario Goloboff (academic and writer), Carlos Pazos (member of “Fundación El Libro”), and Silvia Hopenhayn (journalist specialising in literature). This Committee is responsible for assessing grant applications, recommending acceptance of those it believes most deserving, and deciding the amount of each grant to a maximum sum equivalent to USD 3200.
On the other hand, the diversity of countries interested, languages involved, ages, styles and origins of the authors requested and of the translated work genres have reaffirmed the extensive repercussion of this initiative.
The 704 translation applications which have already been approved include 320 Argentine authors -150 of whom are included in various anthologies (of Argentine young-adult literature texts, contemporary poetry, Mercosur writers, new Argentine short stories, Argentine women writers and of essential texts accounting for the wealth of two centuries of Argentine literature and writers residing in Canada) and in an edition of human right’s academic articles.
These 704 works will be published in 44 countries ((Italy 125 titles, Germany 79, France 75, Brazil 42, USA 36, Bulgaria 29, Czech Republic 27, United Kingdom 22, Israel 20, Greece 20, Switzerland 17,Romania 17, Netherlands 16, Egypt 14, Sweden 13,Portugal 13, Canada 11, Ukraine 10, Austria 9, Russian Federation 9, Poland 8, Macedonia 8, Serbia 7, Hungary 7, People´s Republic of China 6, Croatia 6, Vietnam 6, Spain 6, Turkey 3, South Korea 3, Armenia 3, Thailand 3, Malaysia 2, Georgia 2, Japan 2, Norway 2, Belgium 1, Slovenia 1, Albania 1, Syria 1,Trinidad and Tobago 1, Philippines 1, Ethiopia 1, Lithuania 1), and in 1, and in 38 languages (125 titles to Italian, 100 to German, 81 to French, 75 to English, 55 to Portuguese, 29 to Bulgarian, 27 to Czech, 20 to Greek, 17 to Rumanian, 16 to Dutch, 15 to Hebrew, 13 to Swedish, 13 to Arabic, 10 to Russian, 10 to Ukrainian, 9 to Polish, 8 to Mandarin, 8 to Macedonian, 7 to Hungarian, 7 to Serbian, 6 to Croatian, 6 to Vietnamese, 5 to Galician, 3 to Turkish, 3 to Armenian, 3 to Korean, 3 to Thai, 2 to Norwegian, 2 to Georgian, 2 to Malay, 2 to Kurdish , 2 to Japanese, and 1 to Slovenian, Albanian, Lithuanian, Bikol, Tagalog and Amharic.
Undoubtedly, the enormous collaboration provided by the Argentine publishing Chambers and, in particular, by the Diplomatic and Consular Representations of Argentina abroad, publicizing the call made by Programme SUR, have been decisive in accounting for the remarkable geographical and cultural diversity of these responses.
The approved works (a few titles are being translated to a number of languages) include 323 novels, 84 poetry works, 63 short story books, 15 anthologies (some by various authors, as mentioned, and others by specific authors), 18 playwriting works (containing 30 plays), 9 comic books, 14 historical political essays, 25 children and youth literature, 12 autobiographies (testimonials and diaries), 11 of chronicles, 8 of literary criticism, 5 non-fiction literature, 15 of general interest, 5 of investigative reporting, 1 on cooking, 1 of prose poetry, 5 of conferences, 3 of journalistic research, 2 essays on psychoanalysis, 1 essay on economics, 1 nouvelle, 2 testimonial works about Human and civil rights and several of complete narrative as well as poetry anthologies.
On the other hand, the multiplying effect of Programme SUR must also be counted, since several literary agents have reported sales for over 200 titles by Argentine authors to be published in different countries around the world since Argentina was appointed as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010.
Though there are several 19th and 20th century classics, the vast majority of the authors are alive. Moreover, most of the writers are from the city of Buenos Aires followed by the province of Buenos Aires Following these, Santa Fe (most of whom are from Rosario), Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Mendoza , Río Negro , Chaco , San Juan , Tucumán , Jujuy , San Luis , Chubut , La Pampa , Salta , Santiago del Estero, Corrientes and Neuquén.
Another important point is that several of these writers reside or have resided, abroad. Similarly, several writers born in the provinces have later come to live in Buenos Aires.
It is also worth mentioning that about half the writers can be considered young writers or from an intermediate generation.
Significantly, several of these writers have suffered exile (Esteban Echeverría, José Mármol, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Aurora Venturini, Antonio Di Benedetto, Juan Gelman, Martín Caparrós, Horacio Salas, Vicente Battista, Héctor Tizón, Tomás Eloy Martínez, Osvaldo Bayer, Manuel Puig, Ana María Shua, Luisa Valenzuela, Eduardo Pavlosvsky, Reina Roffe, Pedro Orgambide, Sara Rosemberg, Tununa Mercado, Mempo Giardinelli, María del Carmen Sillato, Pablo Urbanyi, Juan Salinas, Osvaldo Soriano, Lázaro Covadlo, Eduardo Sguiglia, Griselda Gambaro and José María Aricó) while one of them, Rodolfo Walsh, was disappeared during the military dictatorship.
The writers most translated –a few of them with one work to various languages, others with several works to different languages- are the following:
Julio CORTÁZAR (26 grants to be published abroad: Salvo al crepúsculo into French; Rayuela into Georgian; Poesías to Bulgarian; Diario de Andrés Fava into Italian; Antología de relatos to Georgian; Papeles inesperados to Rumanian and Cuentos to Armenian, Los autonautas de la cosmopista to Bulgarian and Greek, Las armas secretas, Bestiario, Historias de cronopios y de famas, Final del juego, Todos los fuegos el fuego to Swedish; Las cartas to Italian; 62/Modelo para armar to Ukrainian and Macedonian; Papeles inesperados to Polish; Las armas secretas to Bulgarian; Animalia to Serbian; Un tal Lucas to Italian; La fascinación de las palabras to Greek; Los autonautas de la cosmopista to Greek; Final del juego to Thai; Mitologías (selección de textos) to Bulgarian; 62/Modelo para armar to Bulgarian);
Jorge Luis BORGES (21 grants to be published abroad: El Aleph to Malay, Obra poética I & II –a selection- into Ukrainian; El otro, el mismo; Historia de la eternidad; Atlas and Siete noches / Oral into Portuguese –Brazil-; Ficciones to Bulgarian; On Mysticism; Poems of the Night; Borges on Argentina; On Writing and The Sonnets into English (the Penguin Group will make a selection of texts for each one of these works); Obra poética completa to Dutch; Selección de ensayos to Bulgarian; Evaristo Carriego to Czech, Poesía completa to Bikol and Tagalog);
Ricardo PIGLIA (17 grants to be published abroad: La ciudad ausente to French and Italian; Plata quemada to French, Bulgarian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian; Blanco nocturno to Greek, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Hungarian and a selection of short stories from La invasión, Nombre falso and Prisión perpetua to German; El último lector to German; Respiración artificial to Czech and Italian);
Claudia PIÑEIRO (15 grants to be published abroad: Las viudas de los jueves to English, Hebrew, Serbian, Albanese, Bulgarian, Rumanian and German; Elena sabe to Netherlander and German; Betibú to French, Rumanian and German; Tuya to Bulgarian and Lithuanian, Las grietas de Jara to Italian);
César AIRA (13 grants to be published abroad: Las noches de Flores to German and Greek; Cómo me hice monja to Arabic; Los fantasmas to Italian, Hungarian, Croatian, Arabic, Dutch and German; Un episodio en la vida del pintor viajero to Hungarian, El Congreso de Literatura to German; Varamo to Croatian, Alejandra Pizarnik to French);
Roberto ARLT (12 grants to be published abroad: Aguafuertes porteñas to French and Italian; Los Siete locos to Arabic, Rumanian, Kurdish and Bulgarian; El juguete rabioso to Arabic and Portuguese; El amor brujo to Italian; En el país del viento-Viaje a la Patagonia to Italian; Viaje terrible to Italian);
Rodolfo WALSH (11 grants to be published abroad: Operación Masacre into French, German and Portuguese; Cuentos literarios completos to Portuguese and Cuentos policiales to German and Cuentos literarios to German; Variaciones en rojo y otros casos del comisario Jiménez to Portuguese; La máquina del bien y del mal to Italian; Un kilo de oro to Italian);
LINIERS –Ricardo Siri- (11 grants to be published abroad: Macanudo Vol. 1 to Czech; Bonjour to Portuguese; Macanudo Vol. 2 y 3 to Italian, Macanudo Vol. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 y 8 to Czech);
Ana María SHUA (9 grants to be published abroad: La muerte como efecto secundario to English, French; El libro de los recuerdos to Italian and Macedonian; La puerta para salir al mundo to Armenian; Caracol presta su casa to Armenian; Fenómenos de circo to English; Botánica del caos to Italian; Soy paciente to French);
Rafael SPREGELBURD (9 grants to be published abroad: Heptalogía de Hieronymus Bosch to Italian in two volumes, to Czech and Slavic and La paranoia to French; La estupidez/El pánico to Portuguese; La paranoia/La terquedad to Portuguese; La inapetencia/La extravagancia/La modestia al Portuguese; Tres apuntes sobre dramaturgia to Italian; Lúcido in verbos irregulares to Italian);
Adolfo BIOY CASARES (9 grants to be published abroad: Los que aman, odian –with Silvina Ocampo- to German; El sueño de los héroes; Diario de la guerra del cerdo and Cuentos cortos to Bulgarian; Diario de la guerra del cerdo to Portuguese; La invención de Morel to Norwegian; Una muñeca rusa to Chinese; Seis problemas para don Isidro Parodi to Bulgarian);
Eduardo SACHERI (9 grants to be published abroad: Aráoz y la verdad to German; La pregunta de sus ojos to Hebrew, Bulgarian, English, Chinese, Serbian and Czech; Papeles en el viento to French and English);
Juan José SAER (8 grants to be published abroad: El entenado to Hebrew and Czech; La pesquisa to Italian, Hebrew and Czech; La grande to Portuguese; Lugar to Greek, Cicatrices to Italian);
María Rosa LOJO (7 grants to be published abroad: Finisterre to Thai; La Princesa Federaland Las libres del Sur to Italian; Amores insólitos de nuestra historia to French; La pasión de los nómades to English; Árbol de familia to Italian, Bosque de ojos to French);
Pablo DE SANTIS (7 grants to be published abroad: El enigma de París to Bulgarian, Russian, Mandarin, Hungarian and German; El último espía to Italian and La sexta lámpara to Russian);
Alan PAULS (6 grants to be published abroad: El pasado to Greek, Russian and Portuguese; Historia del llanto to German; Historia del pelo to French and Italian);
Guillermo MARTÍNEZ (6 grants to be published abroad: La muerte lenta de Luciana B. to Bulgarian and Hebrew; Acerca de Roderer to Netherlander and Macedonia; Crímenes imperceptibles to Macedonian; Yo también tuve una novia bisexual to Bulgarian;
Tamara KAMENSZAIN (6 grants to be published abroad: Perdidos en familia to German; Solos y solas to English; El Ghetto to English; El eco de mi madre to English and Portuguese);
Luisa VALENZUELA (6 grants to be published abroad:: El mañana to German and Korean; El gato eficaz to English, Cuentos to Korean, Los deseos oscuros y los otros to English, Hay que sonreír to French) ;
Lucía PUENZO:( 5 grants to be published abroad: La maldición de Jacinta Pichimahuida al German , El niño pez to English and Romanian, Wakolda to German, Norwegian and Hungarian);
Juan GELMAN (5 grants to be published abroad: Valer la pena to Japanese, Carta abierta (Interrupciones I) to English, Citas y comentarios to English, Composiciones to English y Poemas de Sydney West to Bulgarian);
Antonio DI BENEDETTO (5 grants to be published abroad: Zama to Hebrew, to English, to Italian and to Czech; Los suicidas to Greek);
Liliana BODOC (5 grants to be published abroad: El espejo africano to French; La saga de los confines -Los días del Venado (Libro I); La saga de los confines -Los días de la Sombra (Libro II); La saga de los confines -Los días del Fuego (Libro III) to Netherlander) and Los días del Venado to English;
Ariel MAGNUS (5 grants to be published abroad: Un chino en bicicleta to Rumanian, German, Hebrew, Italian and Croatian);
Sergio BIZZIO ( 5 grants to be published abroad: Realidad to Bulgarian and Italian; Rabia to German; Netherlander and Borgenstein to Italian);
Samanta SCHWEBLIN (5 grants to be published abroad: Pájaros en la boca to German, to Hungarian, Czech and Chinese; Selección de cuentos to Italian);
Ernesto SÁBATO (4 grants to be published abroad: El túnel to German, Antes del fin to Italian, Ensayos to Ukrainian, Abbadón el exterminador to Romanian);
Mempo GIARDINELLI (4 grants to be published abroad: El cielo con las manos to Czech; Imposible equilibrio to English; Estación Coghlan y otros cuentos to Italian and Santo Oficio de la Memoria to French);
Of these 704 subsidised works there are several landmark works of Argentine literature: El Matadero and La cautiva by Esteban Echeverría; Facundo o civilización y barbarie en las pampas argentinas by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento; Una excursión a los indios Ranqueles by Lucio V. Mansilla; Antología poética y de cuentos by Leopoldo Lugones; Oasis en la vida by Juana Manuela Gorriti; Los gauchos judíos by Alberto Gerchunoff; Sin rumbo by Eugenio Cambaceres; El juguete rabioso, Los siete locos and Aguafuertes porteñas by Roberto Arlt; Antología de cuentos by Horacio Quiroga; Adán Buenosayres by Leopoldo Marechal; El Aleph, Ficciones and complete poetic worksof Jorge Luis Borges; Museo de la novela de la Eterna by Macedonio Fernández; Diario de la guerra del cerdo and La invención de Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares; Los que aman, odian by Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo; Poemas by Alfonsina Storni and by Alejandra Pizarnik; Autobiografía/Testimonios by Victoria Ocampo; Operación Masacre and Cuentos completos by Rodolfo Walsh; Rayuela, Cuentos y Poemas by Julio Cortázar; La Patagonia rebelde by Osvaldo Bayer; Boquitas pintadas by Manuel Puig; Zama and Los suicidas by Antonio Di Benedetto; La grande, La pesquis, Cicatrices and El entenado by Juan José Saer and El túnel, Abbadón el exterminador and Antes del fin de Ernesto Sábato.