Thursday, 6 September 2018
This is just another of our occasional brief reviews of SELTA, the Swedish-English Literary Translators Association. Actually, there isn't much to report this time: the group seems to be fairly stable as regards membership numbers, though its practical work and activity seem to be dominated by a rather small and tightly-knit network of members who know one another and are colleagues. There's also a noticeable age factor: again the small network appears to be composed of younger members, while the wider membership is rather older and takes little part in the group activity - this is noticeable with regard to meetings, where many of the older members no longer attend.
It's good that there is an organisation like SELTA, bringing some order to the potential chaos of publishers, editors, agents, agencies, translators and contracts - but it doesn't seem quite the same as it was in the 1980s and 90s, when it was more than a network, functioning as a forum for ideas and reflections on contemporary and classical Swedish-language literature. In fact, it feels as though the literary element may have receded quite a bit in recent times. Perhaps, however, the role is still fulfilled by Swedish Book Review, though again there's a sense of a rather restricted network in charge of its editorial functions.
It's to be hoped that SELTA will continue to evolve. The founding of a sister organisation DELT is an interesting development: this blog has always advocated the forming of a pan-Nordic translators' association, and will go on doing so. Perhaps at some point SELTA and DELT will merge!