The collective fantasy of readers usually depicts literary translators’ work as a lonely asocial enterprise best done in seclusion. Jokes about translators often describe them as living in ebony towers, monastic cells or on desert islands, surrounded by piles of dictionaries, coffee mugs, baggy pyjamas of different styles, chocolate cakes (and other high-carb-signs of unhealthy habits), dusty yoga mats, back and neck painkillers, you name it.
One of the numerous variations of the good old joke poses the following question: How many translators does it take to change a light bulb? Well, it depends on the context… is the answer! When speaking about literary translations, context is always the key word. You just need to change the context, and the “loneliness-of-translating-long-books” myth proves wrong. Or, in other words, you have to organise a three-day translation course (workshop, seminar,, etc.), and you’ll see the other side of the coin – friendly, talkative people, brimming with energy, humour and brilliant ideas, people in love with literature and with their mission – to help books travel!
The goal of this handbook is to inspire and guide professionals in the field of literature and literary translation – academics, translators, editors, proofreaders, publishers, NGO activists, literary agents, culture-journalists, etc. – on how to initiate, conceptualise, curate, organise, and advertise intensive literary-translation training courses, events that bring together people from different backgrounds and with different levels of knowledge.