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Translator’s Profile: Mirza Purić

2015/11/17 — 14:33

【Text by Patty Nash】

Q & A with Bosnian translator and Asymptote editor-at-large Mirza Purić

Mirza Purić (b. 1979) is a translator and musician. A graduate of the University of Vienna, he has been an Editor-at-Large with Asymptotesince 2014.

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Who are you and what do you translate? 

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Out of necessity, I’ll translate whatever will bring home the bacon, but what I am is a literary translator. When I set out years ago I worked on fiction almost exclusively. These days I mostly do poetry, I don’t know how that happened. I also play obnoxious music on a bastard instrument which is neither a bass nor a guitar. I’m not sure if this answers the first question.

Describe your current/most recent project. Why is it cool? What should we know about it?

I’m working on a selection of poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, who is one of my favourite poets. There’s this sad cliché that says you can’t write about music just like you can’t dance about sculpture, or something to that effect. Whoever came up with that nugget of brilliance has obviously never read Komunyakaa. Apart from that, I try to make myself available to young, up-and-coming authors, people who swim against the tide and/or operate outside of the mainstream, so I’m always on stand-by for Sarajevo Writer’s Workshop, a group of promising young writers and poets founded by the American writer Stacy Mattingly (check out her essay on a project she led for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program). As Asymptote’s editor-at-large I constantly snoop about for new talent. This country being what it is, a lot of gifted people don’t have a platform. Asymptote provides one, and I do what I can to help these people hop on it.

 

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