Against atrophy of memory

An overview of the Estonian translations of fiction published in the past decade



The article seeks to map the literature translated into Estonian over the past decade (2003–2012). As the titles are very numerous the review is mainly focused on book series. Even despite the usual time-period or genre restrictions a series-based approach will contribute to the general picture. First, series enable a cross-language approach. The dominance of English among the source languages is hardly surprising, but fortunately there are also some series contributing to source language diversity. Second, the voluminous nature of most series helps to notice and describe the contribution of different translators, some of which feature an awe-inspiring industry and versatility. Third, the general situation and near-term outlook of literary translation will become visible. The shrinking or exhaustion of several major book series in 2012 evokes a sense of danger. However, the numbers of quality books translated are so high that it is really difficult to keep abreast of them all.