Writer and translator Edgar Garbelotto speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his short story “A Fourteen-Hour Lesson in Theosophy,” which appears in Issue 20 of The Common magazine. The story imagines the final hours of author Clarice Lispector’s life. In this conversation, Garbelotto talks about the process of fictionalizing a real person and bringing her to life in the streets of Rio. Garbelotto also discusses the experience of writing and translating in English, which is his second language, and the way that experience has changed his approach to writing original work. Portuguese is a more playful, allegorical language than English, Garbelotto says, and he’s learned to approach each language differently.
Edgar Garbelotto is a writer and translator born in Brazil and based in the US for 20 years. His translation of João Gilberto Noll’s novel Lord won the 2020 Jabuti Prize as Best Brazilian Book Published Abroad and was a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Best Gay Fiction. His translation of Noll’s novel Harmada was published by Two Lines Press in November 2020 and Hugs & Cuddles, another award-winning novel by Noll, is forthcoming from the same publisher in Fall 2022. He has received fellowships from the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, among others. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois and lives in Chicago, where he is currently editing his debut novel Terra Incognita, written in both Portuguese and English.
Read “A Fourteen-Hour Lesson in Theosophy” by Edgar Garbelotto at thecommononline.org/a-fourteen-hour-lesson-in-theosophy.
Find Edgar Garbelotto’s translations of Lord and Harmada here.
Follow Edgar Garbelotto on Twitter at @EdgarGarbelotto.
Listen to more podcast episodes here.
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The Common is a print and online literary magazine publishing stories, essays, and poems that deepen our collective sense of place. On our podcast and in our pages, The Common features established and emerging writers from around the world. Read more and subscribe to the magazine at thecommononline.org, and follow us on Twitter @CommonMag.
Emily Everett is managing editor of the magazine and host of the podcast. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. She holds an MA in literature from Queen Mary University of London, and a BA from Smith College. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.