Translating Silence: Memory and Forgetting in Andrea Maturana's No decir

Aaron Mark Holmes (
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures - Spanish and Portuguese, University of Massachusetts Amherst
April, 2012
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I earned my BS in Spanish and Mathematics from Doane College in 2008. In the course of my undergraduate studies, I spent a semester at La Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, leading to a deepened interest in Chilean literature and the post-dictatorship Chilean landscape. I continued my studies at UMass Amherst, earning an MA in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures in 2012. My graduate work included a heavy emphasis on translation studies, which I owe primarily to Dr. Maria Tymoczko's instruction. I'm currently working on a translation of Vicente Huidobro's little-known theatrical work, En la luna.


This thesis project is composed of two major parts: my English translation of No decir—a collection of short stories by Chilean author Andrea Maturana—titled Don’t Tell, and an academic introduction to that translation. The first chapter of the introduction gives biographical and cultural information about Andrea Maturana and her work, and it provides a summary of most of the criticism that has been written about her fiction. In the second chapter of the introduction I describe my translation goals and analyze challenges encountered while translating No decir. I first discuss the general problems of any translation project and then focus on several difficulties involved in Spanish to English translation. Finally I analyze a variety of specific challenges from my translation project, providing examples to both emphasize the partial nature of any translation and describe how I attempted to achieve my translation goals.

ISSN 1920-0323