Gregory Rabassa’s Tribute to Edith Grossman
Edith Grossman is honored on the occasion of her 80th birthday. One of the most celebrated literary translators of our time, Grossman has been praised for her translations of work by Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and many others. Her acclaimed 2003 translation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote is already considered a classic.
This tribute was written by Gregory Rabassa. He is the translator of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude et al., and the author of If This Be Treason: Translation and Its Dyscontents.
I was most pleased when Edith Grossman was chosen to succeed me as Gabriel García Márquez’s translator. I knew that Gabo was in good hands. Right now I muse and ponder and wish I could go back in time and teach humanities for Columbia once again, for now I could use Edie’s remarkable version of the Quijote as I helped my students dig out the facts and feelings. Back then I had to do so tediously with versions in English worthy of the likes of Avellaneda. Now she has tackled that bugbear Góngora in such a way so as to make the Spanish Golden Age gleam in English. Excelsior! Edie, please accept my forgiveness for carping about your transmogrification of mutton into lamb. Godspeed.