World Interest in New Brazil Leads to More Translations of Brazilian Authors

Luis Fernando Veríssimo A growing number of Brazilian literary works have been translated into other languages and published abroad and the trend is for continuous growth in this sector due to a set of grants by the National Library Foundation (FBN), forecasting 12 million Brazilian reais (US$ 7.6 million) for the area over the next ten years.

According to the Book and Literature coordinator at the FBN, Georgina Staneck, of an average 23 grants a year for translation and publication of Brazilian books abroad, the volume rose to 68 in the second half of last year alone.

Georgina believes that the growth in publications of Brazilian works abroad reflects the work developed by the FBN in the area, alongside the government of Brazil, and the fact that the country should be honored at Frankfurt Fair, the main book fair in the world, in 2013.

“The number of countries publishing work has also risen. People are turning to Brazil more and more. And what they like, and are seeking, is current authors, not classics, they want the new Brazil,” explained Georgina.

All these factors should continue influencing the demand in coming years. As did the funds made available by the Ministry of Culture, through the FBN. For the 2011/2012 period, the call to the Program for Supporting Translation and Publication of Brazilian Authors Abroad forecasts 2.7 million Brazilian reais (US$ 1.7 million).

For coming years, new calls will be issued. The grant, from US$ 1,000 to US$ 4,000 goes to foreign publishers interested in translating, publishing and distributing books by Brazilian authors who have already been published in Portuguese abroad.

The works may be in literature or humanities, like novels, short stories, poetry, essays, children’s books, teen books, theatre, reference books, literary essays, social science essays, history essays, poetry anthologies and short story anthologies.

They may be books that have never been published in that language, a new translation into that language or even works that have already been published, but that have been out of print or off the market for at least three years.

In the two former cases, the grant is for US$ 2,000 to US$ 8,000, in the latter, US$ 1,000 to US$ 4,000.

Any language may be included, but Brazilian experience shows that the demand comes mainly from European countries, according to Georgina.

Last year, for example, Argentina had the largest number of grants: ten. The country was then followed by England, with seven and Spain, France and Italy, each with six.

Also in the list were Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Israel, Sweden, Chile, Mexico, the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Lebanon, the Ukraine and Peru.

In Lebanon, one of the few Arab countries to receive the FBN grant in recent years, the benefit went to publishing house Dar Al-Farabi, for publication of book Nur na Escuridão, by Salim Miguel, published in Brazil in 2000.

The work, a novel, tells the saga of a Lebanese family that migrated to Santa Catarina in 1927. In 2000, the author won the São Paulo State Art Critic Association Award (APCA) for best novel, and in 2001, the Passo Fundo Zaffari & Bourbon Literature Award.

Among the Brazilian authors who had at least two requests for translations abroad in 2010 were names like Jorge Amado, Alberto Mussa, Luis Fernando Veríssimo, Moacyr Scliar, Chico Buarque, Machado de Assis and Bernardo Carvalho.

Service

Call for the Grant Program

http://www.bn.br/portal/arquivos/pdf/translation-grant-fbn-minc-2011.pdf (in English)
http://www.bn.br/portal/arquivos/pdf/Edital-de-Traducao-FBN-MINC-2011-2012.pdf (in Portuguese)

Anba

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