Image: Fernando Vicente
If you want to get under the skin of a country before you visit, its literature is a great place to start. Literary texts can reveal a vast array of insights into a country, from its politics and history to its religion and morals. They can also provide unusual takes on its popular culture and system of values. The literature of Mexico is a good example of this. Literary translation is enabling non-Spanish speaking readers to lift the lid on Mexican culture and understand the country and its past. If you want to discover this fascinating country from all angles, then read on!
The global success of a business relies on effective communication, and professional translation agencies offer the best solution to ensure this. Nearly every industry benefits from translated materials in some aspect of their business. Marketing messages, HR policies, global patent filing, and clinical trials all need to be rendered professionally into other languages to ensure local regulations are met, compliance mandates are adhered to, and your new market understands your brand messaging.
Alejandro Rossi (1932-2009) was one of Mexico’s most outstanding writers and philosophers of the twentieth century. Born in Italy to an Italian father and a Venezuelan mother, in the 1950s he arrived in Mexico, where he is remembered best today for his work as a philosopher and for his collaboration with Octavio Paz in the latter’s various cultural initiatives. As a writer, he is best known for his book Manual del distraído (“Manual of the Absent-Minded” 1978), a collection of essays and short stories that combine the thoughtful perspective of the philosopher with the aesthetic concern of the litterateur. Another example of this combination is El cielo de Sotero (“Sotero’s Heaven”, 1987), a short story that explores the universal and at the same time particularly Latin American themes of colonialism, social inequality, and revolution. It appears here now in its first published English translation, by Janice Goveas.
Detail from José Chávez Morado (1909-2002), “El retorno de de Quetzalcóatl”. Mural located on the university grounds of UNAM, Mexico City.
At the start of this year, the Diálogos website had some technical issues that unfortunately resulted in the temporary suspension of posts on the Diálogos Online Forum, as well as the removal of all the articles posted in the last few months of 2016. This technical setback, combined with an extremely busy start to 2017 due to a number of large projects, compelled me to place the Forum on hiatus for a few months. At last, I’m happy to announce that the articles that had been removed have now been restored to the Forum, and the extended hiatus has now come to an end.
As of this month, the Diálogos Online Forum has been publishing short stories, poetry, opinions and information related to Hispanic culture and Spanish-English translation for ten years. The Forum began in January 2007 as Diálogos Online Magazine, a quarterly publication featuring articles on Hispanic culture in Canada and translations of Hispanic literature. A total of eight issues were published online in 2007 and 2008; then, in 2009, the online magazine format was adapted to a blog-style journal, including all of the original articles published in the Magazine in its archives.
It was the most oft-repeated comment in the hours after Fidel Castro’s death that he was probably Canada’s favourite dictator. Canadians certainly never approved of the methods used by Fidel Castro to govern Cuba; press censorship and political repression, his insistence that the unions be managed by the government, and the arbitrary practices of his revolutionary courts would never have been welcomed in a democratic and diverse country like Canada.
The Book of Life
Director: Jorge Gutiérrez
Studio: Reel FX/20th Century Fox
Mexico/United States, 2014
Review by Martin Boyd
In a previous review for this Forum, I’ve already made mention of the dearth of Mexican family films for those parents who want their children exposed to Mexican culture and to break the Disney monotony that young viewers are subjected to almost daily. Indeed, the Hollywood monopoly on movie production for children is so severe that we are left with no other option than to search for representations of Mexican culture in US cinema itself. Notable among the few positive representations of Mexico in Hollywood cinema is The Book of Life, an animated film by Mexican director Jorge Gutiérrez, produced with the support of Guillermo del Toro, one of the most prominent Mexican filmmakers of recent years.
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016
Where: Windermere United Church
356 Windermere Ave., Toronto.
An evening of Mexican and international chamber music, combined with visual arts. Duo Luna, featuring violinist Paulina Derbez and pianist Araceli Salazar, will be featuring works by classical Mexican composers such as Manuel M. Ponce, Federico Ibarra, Silvestre Revueltas and Alexis Aranda. Also featured will be Cesar Franck’s Sonata and Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Part, with the visual accompaniment of digital artist Jaime Luján.
On September 25, 2006, the company Diálogos was born. I founded the business just two months after arriving in Toronto from Mexico City, with the primary purpose of providing Spanish-English translation services, but also with a broader vision of offering a forum of intercultural exchange between the Spanish- and English-speaking worlds in Canada. Over the past decade, Diálogos has evolved into a premium agency providing translation services in the legal, literary, academic and commercial fields, serving clients here in Canada and all over the world. At the same time, our broader vision of supporting exchange between Hispanic and Anglophone communities in Canada has been realized through a wide range of initiatives.
On September 15, Mexicans all over the world will be celebrating the independence of their native land once again. Both in towns all over Mexico and in Toronto and other cities of the world where there is a significant Mexican population, Mexicans come out to the public squares every year to commemorate the night in 1810 when the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called upon the parishioners of the town of Dolores, in the state of Guanajuato, to take up arms against the Spanish. This celebration is so firmly ingrained in the national collective imagination that sometimes its most basic features are obscured or forgotten.