Novelist Julia Kornberg and translator Jack Rockwell (OC '18) discuss translation theory and practice, working at Archipelago Books in New York, and their collaboration translating Julia's novel, Atomizado Berlín (Club Hem, 2021).
About the novel
Atomizado Berlín is a story of three siblings, spanning the crisis of 2001 in Argentina and an imagined future in 2035. About it, author Federico Falco wrote:
“This is a story structured around a great escape and its continuations, its echoes and its subsequent collapses: How do we escape from the life that was proposed to us? How do we escape from Nordelta? Millennials, Jewish, and chicos del country that are too smart and sensitive to be chicos del country, Jeremías, Mateo and Nina rehearse that flight from the family that was their nucleus, while the artificially constructed, perfectly green world of the suburb and the docks over the lake that kept them together starts to implode without much more than a whimper. The city—the cities—will always be for them places of escape: Buenos Aires and the attractive violence of punk concerts, the barely disingenuous ennui and the light hypocrisy of its parties and vernissages. And after that, Punta del Este, and after that, cities in other languages—Paris in flames, Berlin almost surviving, Brussels and its neohackers. And in that constant flight, the cities are also the space that's alive, where the authentic encounter is enabled: with friends, with loves, with lovers, with idols, with horror and the horror become image. Ironic and always brilliant, at once sweet and ruthless, with a dazzling lucidity and a syntax that hits you like a subtle whip, stubbornly showing truths with each paragraph, this novel of Julia Kornberg's imagines, invokes and precociously exorcizes the ghosts of her generation.“
About the author and translator
Julia Kornberg (Buenos Aires, 1996) is a writer and Ph.D. student at Princeton University. She has published Atomizado Berlín with Club Hem (Argentina) and Scaraboquio Press (México). She has written fiction for Revista Aguinaldo and Agora Magazine, and criticism for Los Angeles Review of Books, Bookforum and The Drift.
Jack Rockwell (OC '18) is a translator and writer from Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in Agora Mag,Rust + Moth, and Wilder Voice,and is forthcoming at Hopscotch Translation. He works at Archipelago Books, and will begin the MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa this coming fall.