Toshiki Okada’s ‘Breakfast’ seems as though it ought to provide plenty of material for a discussion of the challenges with which it confronts a translator. Here is one candidate: its punctuation. The punctuation is decidedly non-English. How does one translate a comma from Japanese into Englis…
Free to read from Granta 160: Conflict
Letters from Ukraine
‘There was really no point in going to a bomb shelter just because the siren sounded. Our hotel was unlikely to be a target.’
Lindsey Hilsum writes letters home from Ukraine.
‘The recipe is a text that can produce spattering because it was spattering before it was language.’
Rebecca May Johnson on recipes, repetition and intimacy.
‘To make a subject of the very same entity I am a part of, to be outside and within it.’
Thomas Duffield photographs his family.
‘There sat the joy of the shopping centre, what I thought of as its secret heart. A white rabbit.’
A story by Dizz Tate.
Signs of an Approaching War
‘We were ourselves migrating birds; in a sense, refugees, displaced persons, without a home or a home town.’
Volodymyr Rafeyenko (tr. Sasha Dugdale) on the war in Ukraine.
Translated by Michael Emmerich
Michael Emmerich is Professor of Japanese literature at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities. He is the author of The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature and Tentekomai: bungaku wa hi kurete michi tōshi, the editor of Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers and New Penguin Parallel Texts: Short Stories in Japanese, and the translator of numerous works of premodern to contemporary Japanese literature by authors ranging from Kawabata Yasunari and Inoue Yasushi to Yoshimoto Banana and Takahashi Gen’ichirō.More about the translator →