Kathleen McNerney | Professor, literary critic, translator

I joined the Faber Residency to work on an introduction to my translation of Maria-Mercè Marçal’s novelized biography of Pauline Mary Tarn (1877-1909), “La passió segons Renée Vivien”. Several of the participants gave me ideas about how to deal with this complicated subject: the novel is very dense with references to previous literature (Dante and Petrarch) and people who mingled with Pauline at turn-of-the-century Paris (Colette, Natalie Barney). But coinciding with my time in Olot, I received page proofs from another project, translations of stories by Caterina Albert, from the publisher, Modern Language of America. So I spent my time on both items, and gave a talk to my colleagues about my work. I was also invited to speak at a local high school, where the students were reading Caterina Albert’s novel, “Solitud”, and I prepared a talk on the novel’s translation into English. But alas, my presentation was scheduled for November 8, a day on which a general strike was declared to protest the jailing of several Catalan political leaders, so it was not possible to proceed with the regular schedule. In Barcelona, I was invited to give an interview and a presentation at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, also on Catalan Women Writers, and those activities went very well. Thanks to the time and space offered by Faber, (not to mention the wonderful meals at the hotel Riu Fluvià), I was able to work, make contact with several professors in related fields, and enjoy the beautiful countryside as well as the town of Olot. I am most grateful to all concerned.