Adrienne Mitchell is a literary translator and tenured professor who holds an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with a focus on second language acquisition and pedagogy, as well as an M.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Oregon.
On her translation of Rosa Montero’s novel Bella y oscura (published as Beautiful and Dark, Aunt Lute 2010):
I first encountered Montero’s work as a graduate student in Romance Languages and immediately fell in love with her writing style. I delved more deeply into her work when I wrote my M.A. essay on the social implications of spatial imagery in her novels. Most of Montero’s works have not yet been translated into English—none of her more recent works in fact—and that was the initial impetus for exploring a translation project. In particular, I felt a strong affinity for Bella y oscura. Montero’s language in this novel is descriptive and elegant. I am, at heart, a writer, and I love words. Her words jump off the page—they are alive, visceral, juicy, sparkling. I believe her word choices are perfect, gracefully concise yet eminently impactful.
Finding a way to translate her ideas, the thematic content, the pith of this novel into language that is just as vibrant as the original has been stimulating and meaningful work. It is this language that forces the reader to confront and understand the “life that is so dark and beautiful.” Just as the novel itself is compelling, I simply could not not translate it.