Friday, 29 January 2010

SELTA, etc.

Well, I've sent off my annual SELTA subscription renewal - by my calculations it's now 29 years since I first joined the society, and I guess it hasn't really changed much in all that time, in spite of some members' aspirations to give it a wider focus. This time last year members were arguing the pros and cons of a broader coverage of Nordic literature in general, then this blog was formed, then it broke up and became a one-man effort - and SELTA stayed the same.

My situation is still that, like other members, although I've done a fair amount of literary translation from Swedish, it's not my only field of activity - my most recent publication is a book of poetry translations from Danish, and I'm currently planning another one. But SELTA still fulfils an important function in keeping the U.K.'s various Nordic translators in contact with one another. Even if the pan-Nordic element is underplayed to the advantage of a Swedish emphasis, and many of the associate members have published little by way of literary translations, this continues to be a unique professional body - for translation is after all a profession, rather than an academic subject or a stop-gap, subsidiary activity, as this intelligent post by B.J. Epstein points out.

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