Al-Koni offers a fascinating account of his work with German translator Hartmut Fahndrich,
a scholar whose work originally focused on translating medieval Arabic medical texts rather than modern literature, for 15 years now. The two collaborate on translations, particularly when Fahndrich has doubts about what the text conveys.Thanks to Literary Saloon for tipping us off to this article.
“When Fahndrich has his doubts regarding a sentence, we must meet,” Al Koni said. “Many translators are not as conscientious, nor do they have the luxury of a well-established relationship with the author.”
“You as an author can write whatever you want,” he reminisced about Fahndrich telling him, “But I am a translator. I am a prisoner of your thoughts.”