Priscilla Gac-Artigas, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, recently published her essay, “About ‘Collectfiction’ and Literary Translation” in the forum, “El coloquio de los peritos: A Forum on Literary Translation,” curated by award-winning translator Andrea G. Labinger, Ph.D.
Labinger describes the forum, “For those readers who know Spanish, the allusion to Cervantes’ novela ejemplar (or exemplary novel), El coloquio de los perros, is easily recognizable. A coloquio is a colloquy–or conversation, or dialogue–while the pun on perros (dogs) and peritos (experts) is almost embarrassingly frivolous, as well as a little misleading. My goal here is to provide a space where literary translators (los ‘peritos’) from all languages, at all stages of professional development, from neophytes to seasoned veterans, can respond to texts that range from thoughts on a specific translation and/or translation in general, to some of the difficult decisions translators face when encountering an especially thorny text.”
Within this context, Gac-Artigas brings together her experience as a university professor, researcher, writer, critic, translator, and actor to contribute an essay that presents a refreshed perspective on what literary translation entails.
“As a literary critic, I coined the term ‘collectfiction,’ in opposition to ‘autofiction’ to apply it to a writing or creative modality in which the reader enters the world of the author and becomes part of and participant in the reconfiguration of the story proposed. And I see that same kind of creative process in my work as a poetry translator in which I enter the poet’s universe carrying my linguistic and cultural baggage, their voice and my voice emerging together on the other side in a new text that will be read by other audiences who will, in turn, enter in conversation with it to write their own collectfiction,” Gac-Artigas said.
Gac-Artigas is a Fulbright Scholar, a full member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE for its Spanish acronym), and a correspondent member of the Royal Academy of Spanish (RAE).