A Battle Between Word and Reality

Timea Karlsson is the translator-in-residence at TROJICA AIR in Banská Štiavnica.

Timea Karlsson is starting out as a literary translator from Slovak to Swedish and she is currently attanding the translator-in-residence program TROJICA AIR in Banská Štiavnica. Timea joined the Slovak Literary Center (LIC) 2020 call for translation into Nordic lanaguages. She prepared a sample from Pavel Vilikovský's book Letmý sneh / Fleeting Snow in Swedish. Together with her tandemist  Lars-Axel Broman, they decided to further pursue translating literary fiction from Slovak into Swedish. While in Štiavnica, the translator is busy preparing samples from three books for the Slovak Literary Center:  Vtedy v Lošonci / Once Upon a Time in Lošonc by Peter Balko, Mengeleho dievča / Mengele's Girl by Viola Stern Fischerová and Veronika Homolová Tóthová and Stalo sa prvého septembra (alebo inokedy) / It Happend on the First of September by Pavol Rankov. 

Timea Karlsson took part in an online colloqium with students of the Swedish language at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University -- you can find the article about the event on our website (in Slovak). A printscreen from the discussion is also available in the gallery of this article.

Today, we are bringing you a short interview with Timea. 


What do you find most challenging as you are working on these specific translations? 

The biggest challenge is to engage with literature that forces you to ponder the reality of others, whether present or past. To be able to feel and understand the author deeply is different than reading a book in your spare time. The permanent battle between word and reality is expressed differently in different languages. 

Do you think communication with the authors of the original texts is important?

I believe it's very important, if it is possible. In the new language, you create a "new book" from the original one, but it has to be as authentic as possible. Consultations and cooperation help achieving a good-quality translation.  

Does the residence suit your work needs? Are you able to concentrate better?

It suits me and yes, I am able to concentrate. Here, one can commit to the translation 100%. 


16 December 2020 we have announced on our website the selected residents for the translator residency in Banská Štiavnica. Translator Timea Karlsson fills up for translator Aiman Saad from Egypt, who was unable to attend within the dates 16 March – 15 April 2021 due to the pandemics.
TROJICA artist-in-residence was created as part of Almázie Štiavnica: Mesto kultúry 2019, in collaboration with the town of Banská Štiavnica and the project BANSKÁ ST A NICA, and with the support of Fond na podporu umenia. In 2021, the project is supported by FPU as well as by LITA - the authors' agency. The Slovak Literary Center (LIC) organizes these residencies and the accompanying activities. The coordinator of the project is Katarína Balcarová Kucbelová.  
Kristína Kubáňová is the author of the graphic concept for the events, while Palo and Janka Bálik created the Trojica Air logo.
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