“She resorted to Italian as if to a barrier. I tried to push her toward dialect, our language of freedom… But while her Italian was translated from dialect, my dialect was increasingly translated from Italian, and we both spoke a false language.” — from The Story of the Lost Child, book 4 in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series.

In today’s PEN podcast, Ann Goldstein, New Yorker editor and translator extraordinaire, discusses how she goes about translating a writer who uses different registers of language as a theme of the text and, more specifically, how “smarginatura” became “dissolving margins.”

Audio from the The Literary Mews, part of the 2015 World Voices Festival. Used with permission of Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York University.

Photograph of Ann Goldstein © Andrew Nelson for Casa Italiana.