Muriel Spark
Muriel Spark

in translation

Czech translation cover home
childhood
into the world
getting published
first novels
finest work
a lasting impression
archive
in translation
a bibliography


Luckily her livelihood does not depend on her Scottish sales. Her novels sell well enough elsewhere

('The Scotsman', 20 August 1962)

In the online Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation (BOSLIT), maintained at the National Library of Scotland, there are more than 400 records of translations of Muriel Spark's works – an indication of how well the author communicated across different cultures.

Novels have been published in all the main languages of Western Europe, from Swedish in the north to Greek in the south. By the mid-1960s, Muriel Spark was regarded outside her native land as a significant writer in English, as shown by her inclusion, for example, in a major Swedish anthology of short stories printed in 1966.

East European translations held in the Library include editions in Czech, Polish and Latvian. (Pictured is the cover of 'Vecirek', the Czech language edition of 'Symposium' [1990] published in 1997.) Muriel confessed herself 'fascinated' by the sight of her novels in Japanese as far back as the early 1960s. Not surprisingly, 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' is the most widely printed title.

Many translations have appeared in periodicals, and some were only published in this form. BOSLIT records reveal Muriel's most popular short stories: 'The Portobello Road' has the highest number of translations, with 'Mrs Pinkerton's Apocalypse' coming a close second.

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