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One Book, Five Writers: Translating Jaguars’ Tomb

Amalia Gladhart, University of Oregon

April 3, 2023 · 12:00 pm1:00 pm · Zoom

Program in Translation & Intercultural Communication

Angélica Gorodischer’s novel Jaguars’ Tomb (Tumba de jaguares) is made up of three linked sections, each credited to a different fictional author. The protagonist of one section becomes the author of the next. Among Gorodischer’s many novels, it is the one that most directly addresses the abductions and disappearances that occurred under the military dictatorship of 1976-83. Each of the three parts repeats images from the others, in particular the octagonal room that is in turn the jaguars’ tomb, the central space of the torture center, the heart of an abandoned house that hides an adulterous affair. Gorodischer’s novel is both an intriguing puzzle and a meditation on how to write about, or through, violence, injustice, and loss. The novel plays with the repetitive possibilities of words and images, and raises questions about representation and writing, about whether art can offer refuge or resolution, and about the extent to which a writer’s authority must derive from experience rather than imagination.

Amalia Gladhart’s published translations include two novels by Alicia Yánez Cossío (Ecuador), The Potbellied Virgin and Beyond the Islands, and two by Angélica Gorodischer (Argentina), Trafalgar and Jaguars’ Tomb. Her translation of Jaguars’ Tomb, supported by a Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, was awarded the 2022 Queen Sofía Spanish Institute Translation Prize. Her short fiction appears in journals including The Common, Cordella Magazine, Saranac Review, and Portland Review. Detours, a sequence of prose poems, was published by Burnside Review Press. Best Laid Plans, a comic novella set at Flagship U, can be found online at The Fantasist. She is Professor of Spanish at the University of Oregon.

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