Por Joshua Harmon
Fewer than three percent of literary works published in the United States are translations. As a publishing culture we tend to place a lot of stock in our writers’ ability to create our stories, record our histories, and put our worlds and experiences in a context we can understand.
What happened to our curiosity? Our desire to know more about other countries, the way that we hope to know more through this apparent self-reflection? Is it just that we can’t see what we are missing?
In this issue, themed “Exchange/Intercambio,” you will find original texts and new translations by Spanish-language authors from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and, in particular, from Mexico. You will also find English-language texts translated to Spanish for the first time. This is not only an exchange of language, but also a conversation about the intricate give-and-take on a translated page and in the day-to-day, as we consider the ways in which languages and cultures transcend borders, fuse together, influence, and shape each other.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States and an obvious cultural muscle in Chicago, which is why we chose it as the focus for this issue. We will continue to focus on the interchange of Spanish and English as a vital part of our writing community.