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Machado de Assis in English: translation, publishing and circulation from a transnational perspective

Abstract

This project consists in a comprehensive study on the conditions surrounding the production and circulation of the first English language translations of Machado de Assis's novels, considering the historic circumstances of the 1950s and 60s. The research will be conducted at The New York Public Library and at the Library of the Congress, in Washington D.C., encompassing the first translations and translators of Machado de Assis's works into English (William Grossman, Helen Caldwell and Clotilde Wilson) and the editors thereof (Cecil Hemley at the Noonday Press, and August Frugé at the University of California Press). The materials include correspondence between the translators, translators and editors, editors and the press, consular officials and international cooperation agencies, memoranda, contracts, newspaper articles, press releases, publicity materials, spreadsheets with print-run and sales figures, policies that made the translation and circulation of foreign authors in the United States viable, especially Latin American writers, during the post-war era. The primary sources collected in the scope of this project will be added to the material collected in previous research stages over the last five years at the Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of California Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Berkeley. The final result of this project will be an analytical study, to be published along with fac-simile and transcription and translation of the main documents collected. Given the breadth, quality and originality of the documentation, this study has the potential to bring out new perspectives on an important chapter in the internationalization of Machado de Assis's works, thereby giving visibility to new dimensions of this matter and contributing to qualify the debate about the possibilities and obstacles to the international dissemination of Brazilian literature. (AU)

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