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The Man Between

Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation
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Michael Henry Heim
Open Letter
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
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2 - DRM Adobe

Tentative Table of Contents Part I: The Life: Excerpt (about 21,000 words) from Michael Henry Heim's interview/autobiography, Un Babel fericit (Iasi, Romania: Editura Polirom, 1999). Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter. The autobiographical pages cover many topics, including his family history, early interests in photography and piano, his first trips to the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, his language study, and his meetings with famous authors. He was in Prague for the 1968 Soviet invasion, interpreting between Czechs and the Soviet soldiers -this section is the most dramatic. In addition to describing some of his work on particular authors, he also comments on his approach to literary translation, teaching translation, publishing translations in the United States, the lack of professional status for American translators, and translating women writers. Part II: Translated by Michael Henry Heim Excerpts from the correspondence between Heim and Milan Kundera regarding the English translation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. (Correspondence held in the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana. To be translated from the Czech.)Andrei Codrescu: two essays and a poemDubravka Ugresic on Heim, translated from the Serbo-Croatian.Breon Mitchell's memorial lecture at UCLAA close reading of Heim's translations of Hrabal and KunderaPart III: In the UniversityRosanna Warren's reminiscenceAlex Zucker Maureen Freely on Heim's translation teaching techniques Part IV: The ActivistAndrzej W. Tymowski on the Social Science Translation ProjectEsther Allen on the PEN Translation FundCatherine Porter on Heim and the Modern Language Association Part V: The Teacher Russell Valentino on Heim in the classroom.A brief anthology of techniques Heim uses to teach translation. Heim is renowned for innovative techniques such as giving his students a paragraph of a French translation of Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt, without telling them what it is. He then asks them to imagine the characters and scene depicted in it, and translate the paragraph into English. Once each student has produced their own English version, Heim produces the original English paragraph from Babbitt.
When Michael Henry Heim-one of the most respected translators of his generation-passed away in the fall of 2012, he left behind an astounding legacy. Over his career, he translated over sixty works from more than eight different languages, including books by Milan Kundera, Dubravka Ugresic, Hugo Claus, and Anton Chekov.