Mexican Jewish author Ilan Stavans translates classic books like “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into Spanish

Mexican Jewish author Ilan Stavans recently published a Spanish version of the classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which is a novel by English author Lewis Carroll published in 1865.
Unless you’ve fallen into a rabbit hole in the past century and a half, the story follows a young girl who finds herself in a fantasy world of anthropomorphic creatures after tripping into a hole while chasing a non-point white rabbit. .

In the Spanish version, which is aptly titled Alicia’s Adventures in Wonderland, Stavans mixes Spanish and English to create a bilingual adventure.

“The majority of readers access the classics in a language other than the original”, explains Stavans NBC News. “I want Latin culture, like other advanced cultures, to have foreign classics translated in a familiar voice.”

This is the third classic book that Stavans has translated into Spanish. The first was the French novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The little Prince, which he renamed The little principle in 2017. The following year, Stavans translated the early 17th century novel by Miguel de Cervantes El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha to Don Quixote de La Mancha.

“Alicia is an extraordinarily compelling metaphor for Latin Americans entering an entirely different world in the United States and the pressure they face due to assimilation,” Stavans said. “Alicia enters another world and then has to figure out how to live in that world, which is exactly what immigrants do.”

Stavans says to translate classic stories like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taught him how Latin American literature and magical realism work together in other works of fiction.

“I started to find a way to explain to myself how magical realism works in the stories of Gabriel García Marquez,” he said. “For me, Macondo in A hundred years of loneliness is a land of maravillas, or wonderland, a magical coastal town on the Caribbean side of Colombia where you can decode the history and dreams of Latin America.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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