Here I am at the BCLT Summer School, where emerging and aspiring translators can go to workshop, worry and worship at the Max Sebald memorial bookshelf. I find myself leading a workshop that I took myself not all that long ago, and which I can genuinely say changed my life.* Which feels like going back to school, only this time I'm Mrs. Koshin.
It is of course an honour the size of Iceland and I'd been feeling rather inadequate, especially when I cottoned on to how humblingly good the participants are already. Only then we had a panel discussion on "My Life as a Translator", in which I was lined up with six very accomplished colleagues. Lucky I quickly won a prize this spring or I'd have fainted during the introductory round. Anyway, the wonderful and exciting and life-confirming thing was that despite their many many achievements, everyone else on the panel obviously also felt like a total beginner and a bit of a sham. Hooray! Perhaps it's similar to the way sensible people (in my book) rarely feel like proper grown-ups, no matter how many kids and mortgages and debts they may accrue. We're all still dressing up in Mummy's shoes and pretending to be big and clever.
The other delight was to hear that they're all still utterly passionate about their work and about the writing they translate. I'm still a little bit high, so please excuse any lack of coherent message here. Basically, I love my job and I'm very pleased to be among so many people who share that passion.
Blogging may be difficult this week for technical reasons, and because the schedule is very full. My posts may also be incoherent and overly gushing. So no change there then.
* In that it was the first time I took myself seriously as a literary translator and was taken seriously by others, in that I met some fantastic people who I've since worked with, in that I learned a great deal, and in that the week was terribly, terribly inspiring.