notes on translation & faith
by Catherine Addington, feat. Rafael Arnáiz & the Holy Spirit
My name is Catherine Addington. I’m a PhD student who is tricking herself into drafting her dissertation by conceiving of it as an especially long series of newsletters. My project is the first English translation of the collected writings of St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón, a young Spanish Trappist oblate of the early 20th century. He’s a painter, architecture student, diabetic, letter-writer, chocolate factory worker, turnip-peeler, Marian devotee, opera aficionado, and cigar smoker. I’m a writer and translator, vegetarian, former teacher, soccer fan, once-but-not-future academic, pixie-cut evangelist, aspiring media apostle, and Twitter obsessive. We share the ability to quote St. Teresa of Ávila from memory and a deep sadness for living in times with terrible politics. Welcome. I’m excited to invite you into our collaboration.
I have called this newsletter faith-full because translators are always judged on faithfulness of the wrong kind. Here I will argue that my work as a translator is answerable neither to the author nor to the reader—the traditional trinity of this particular discourse—but to God, who has entrusted me with this work.
If that sounds like a ride you want to be on, sign up below.
In the meantime, tell your friends!