The only thing an artist might dread more than a bad review is a shallow compliment. The five writers onstage at the Minneapolis Public Library on a frosty February night find so much meaning in the possibilities of language that they don't really enjoy the praise of uncomprehending observers who might call their efforts "beautiful" or "musical." These writers are also translators--they're Irish, American Indian, Cambodian, Chinese, and Deaf--and they've been assembled for a panel discussion on "language and politics." The auditorium is spare, the audience decent but not large. Yet the authors are compelling as they describe the perils of translation, the struggle of keeping languages alive in a global monoculture, and the happenstance that engendered their own commitments. At a time when reading is said to be a fringe activity for the cultural mainstream, these artists have committed themselves to even... More >>>