Catalan translator of Amanda Gorman's poem fired for not being of 'right profile'

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Mar 13, 2021, 11:04 PM(IST)

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 20, 2021. Photograph:( AFP )

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After had finished, his publisher was informed that the US had backtracked from their word as he was 'not the right person'

Everyone was in awe of the poem that the American writer Amanda Gorman read at the inauguration ceremony of US President Joe Biden.

Now, months after that much-applauded poem, the creation is back in headlines for the wrong reasons.

Also read | Amanda Gorman, Biden inauguration poet, says security guard labelled her 'suspicious'

As per reports, the Catalan translator for the poem has been removed from the job because he had the wrong "profile".

"They told me that I am not suitable to translate it," Catalan translator Victor Obiols told news agency AFP. "They did not question my abilities, but they were looking for a different profile, which had to be a woman, young, activist and preferably black."

Also read | How Amanda Gorman overcame speech impediment with help of a 'Hamilton' song 

Obiols had received a request three weeks ago from Barcelona publisher Univers, asking to translate the reading of Gorman's "The Hill We Climb" with a foreword by the famous television show celebrity Oprah Winfrey.

However, after had finished, his publisher was informed that the US had backtracked from their word as he was "not the right person". He is, however, not sure if the rejection came from the original publisher or from Gorman's agent.

Also read | Amanda Gorman becomes youngest inaugural poet in US history

"It is a very complicated subject that cannot be treated with frivolity," said the translator who has earlier translater works of William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. 

"But if I cannot translate a poet because she is a woman, young, black, an American of the 21st century, neither can I translate Homer because I am not a Greek of the eighth century BC. Or could not have translated Shakespeare because I am nota 16th-century Englishman," he said.

He has been promised to be paid for the work he did, though, from the publisher.

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