Litir nár foilsíodh


It was heartening to read Enda Delaney's review (IrishTimes, 23.1.21) of Mícheál Ó hAodha's English translation of Dónall Mac Amhlaigh's book Deoraithe. Parthian Books, a Welsh outfit, are to be congratulated on their initiative. I wonder  why it wasn't snapped up by an Irish publisher? 

We need an inventory of the best literature available in the senior language, books that are worth translating into English, currently a world language. We also need support for our literary translators. No scheme exists, as far as I know, to assist translators and publishers to make Irish-language literature available in English. And yet Literature Ireland/Litríocht Éireann has no problems when it comes to financing such titles as a Catalan translation of The Sea, The Sea (Vintage Classics) by Iris Murdoch. It makes no sense to me.

I'm not going to ask how Irish was Iris (or anybody else) but the truth of the matter is that though born in Dublin she was only a few weeks old when the family moved to London!  Clearly Literature Ireland/ Litríocht Éireann is stretching it a bit with Murdoch, yet they won't stretch far enough to support English-language translations of literary works in Irish. Baffling!

Gabriel Rosenstock