Permagel/Permafrost : lesbian desire and its translation

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Permafrost (Permagel in Catalan) is a novel by poet and writer Eva Baltasar. Published in 2018, it man-aged to gain notable popularity both in Catalonia and the rest of Spain. Since its publication, it has been translated into different languages with great success. Its English translation by American translator Julia Sanches arrived in the uk in 2020. Baltasar's story centres on a lesbian woman in her forties who, as a victim of the hostile environment in which she is obliged to live, fantasises about suicide and, at the same time, shows a hedonistic urge that leads her to the enjoyment of her human condition to its maximum, principally through sex. Sexual desire is explored in depth in the novel, artfully unfurled in the author's prose poetry. She manages to evoke deeply symbolic imagery and a strong sense of immediacy using a vast array of word combinations and metaphors. This article first explores the impact of the novel in both its original territory and among the English-speaking readership; particularly the topic of sex, which featured heavily in the reviews. Secondly, it aims to analyse the description of lesbian (queer) desire in the original and its transfer into the English lan-guage through the lens of queer and feminist translation. By applying a queerfeminist perspective, the analysis describes the effectiveness of the translation when transporting the contents into another cultural and linguistic reality.
Translated title of the contributionPermagel/Permafrost: el deseo lésbico y su traducción
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-181
Number of pages16
JournalMutatis Mutandis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2023


  • Queer translation
  • Feminist translation
  • Lesbian desire
  • Interculturality
  • Literary translation
  • Permafrost
  • Traducción queer
  • Traducción feminista
  • Deseo lésbico
  • Interculturalidad
  • Traducción literaria


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