Translation as an act of love

“Dolly Parton says she is singing for everybody. I am trying to translate for everybody.”

Carmen Acevedo Butcher is the author of an award-winning translation of the anonymous medieval text The Cloud of Unknowing and a forthcoming translation of Brother Lawrence called Practice of the Presence. Listen to the full length version of this interview on the In Search Of podcast. 

How did you come to your philosophy of translation?

The editor with whom I worked on the new Brother Lawrence book asked if I had ever written up my translation philosophy. I thought, my translation philosophy? I hadn’t thought about it like that. But I wrote it down very quickly. I called it “translation as embodied mysticism.”