In “Less”, a brilliant novel (alas, already translated into German; I would have loved to do the job), an American author unexpectedly receiving an Italian award: “Less begins to imagine […] that he has been mistranslated. Or, what is the word? Supertranslated? His novel given to an unacknowledged genius of a poet (Giuliana Senino is her name) who worked his mediocre English into breathtaking Italian.” Supertranslated! So nice to know that a great writer is aware of what translation can do — up to making a novel even better than the original. It does happen. But rarely.
There are also examples of funny awkward translation in “Less”: Greer provides back-translations of Less’s defective German. When his German publisher informs him that he will be giving a late-night reading, Less responds (we read this in English, but are meant to understand that we are dealing with a literal translation from the German): “But it is a mental illness! Who will come to me at eleven at night?”