Episode #225

Translation, Diapers, Design High

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Saturday, June 23, 2001

We visit a charter high school in Philadelphia devoted to teaching teenagers how to design everything from skyscrapers to sneakers, and we celebrate the centennial of the birth of the innovative and iconoclastic composer Harry Partch. Kurt Andersen talks about the art of translation in literature, film, and music with Gregory Rabassa, the foremost translator of Latin American contemporary literature. They'll look at stories featuring screenwriter Stephen Schiff discussing the challenges of adapting books to movies, poet Kathryn Hellerstein describing the pleasures of translating the Yiddish poet Kadya Molodovsky's work, and musicians talking about the cross-cultural phenomenon of Chinese hip-hop. 

Guests:

Gregory Rabassa

Commentary: Good Pop, Bad Pop

Kurt expects most pop entertainment to be a little smutty and stupid, but he wishes more of it were smutty and stupid in a smart way.

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Design for the Real World: Diapers

Critic Philip Nobel talks about his recent initiation into the shockingly complex world of diaper design. 

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Design High

The Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia trains its students to become designers and product creators instead of consumers.

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Gregory Rabassa on Translation

Kurt Andersen and America's most renowned translator, Gregory Rabassa, look at translation beyond literature, across art forms, and between cultures. 

Rabassa is a professor at Queens College and among the best American translators working today. He has translated more than 30 novels from Spanish and Portuguese into English — including works ...

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Yiddish to English

Kadya Molodowsky was one of the great Yiddish poets of the 20th century. Her translator, poet and professor Kathryn Hellerstein, talks about the challenges and pleasures of bringing Molodowsky's poems to a new audience.

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Books to Movies

Kurt Andersen talks with screenwriter Stephen Schiff about the alchemy of adapting novels for the movies.

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Hop-Fu

From the Bronx to Shanghai, hip-hop continues to jump the boundaries of language and politics.

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Composer Harry Partch

Producer Allison Dean listens to the strange sounds and rousing tunes of the non-conformist American composer and musical inventor who would have turned 100 this month. 

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