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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


The Phoebe Taylor Prize 2023

Phoebe Taylor winner

This year, the Phoebe Taylor prize for outstanding work in Spanish Translation was awarded to Rosie Aylard for her project on the 2020 illustrated novel Ese Verano a Oscuras by Mariana Enríquez.

Like Phoebe’s project, this translation focuses on a Latin American author, with Rosie taking up the work of contemporary Argentine writer Enriquez. 

Rosie’s project is a thought- provoking translation or what she has beautifully called a re-voicing of a visual text transports the English reader to the daunting context of the 1980s and the Argentine dictatorship. Opening with a biographical note on the author, the introductory essay underscores the graphic novel's veiled criticisms of Argentina's political and economic reality, undertaken from the narrative perspective of a child.

The introduction lays out some of the translation challenges, notably how to translate an illustrated text. Here one of the most striking aspects of Rosie’s project is the production of her own visual material, provided in black and white rather than the brown hues of the original source text – to reflect that dark events that take place in the novel and to correspond with the translated title ‘That Dark Summer’. The translation itself carefully captures the distinctively adolescent tone of the teenage protagonist in a way that provides us with a snapshot of the period that is both disarming and humorous. The project shows demonstrable commitment to the ethics of translating a work that deals with a dark period of Argentine history and vividly brings to the reader a text that has yet to be translated to English. 

We are immensely grateful to Phoebe’s family for supporting the department’s students, and for helping us honour the work of brilliant young scholars like Phoebe and Rosie, who use the Translation Project as a way of putting their language skills and finely-tuned literary sensibilities to highly creative ends. 

Maite Conde 
(UTEO in Spanish and Portuguese)