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Discussion Group and Oxford Translation Day - The Curse of Knowledge: The Translator as Perpetual Student

Speaker(s): 
Anton Hur
Monday, May 31, 2021 - 13:00 to 14:00
Livestreamed via Microsoft Teams on 31 May

Anton Hur, the English translator of Bora Chung’s Cursed Bunny, described “the curse of knowledge” in translation, or the various ways an otherwise learned and well-meaning translator can inadvertently sabotage their own work, a common occurrence in a profession where the practitioners tend to be highly educated and often marginalized. Drawing from his own experiences as a professional literary translator, Anton talked about the helpful and harmful effect of education in translators, the factors of translators’ positions in society that lead to certain artifacts in the product, “the perfect bilingual problem”, and how translators can break the curse and the various false binaries that bind their practice in order to grow not just as translators but as readers and human beings. Anton explored the double-sided nature of knowledge, discipline, and theory as relevant to his own process of bringing Cursed Bunny into English, combining (or queering) the two “genders” of translators—theorist and practitioner—to propose a learned but intuitive practice tailored to and by the specific translator.

Anton Hur was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the English translator of several Korean authors including Kyung-Sook Shin, Bora Chung, Sang Young Park, and Jeon Sam-hye, as well as the Korean translator of Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Anton was educated at the Korea University College of Law and Seoul National University Graduate School and has taught at the Ewha University Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation and Yonsei University. He divides his time between Seoul and Songdo, Korea.

This is a joint event with the Queen's Translation Exchange: https://www.queens.ox.ac.uk/translation-exchange.

If you wish to attend this session, please fill out this form by the preceding Sunday.

Anton Hur