Benny B

Well-known member
will pm u

edit: your inbox is full. got a good pdf if you're interested :)


Actually ive just been looking at the english translation and its been totally butchered by over americanisation in the dialogue. You get all these awful words like 'lousy' and 'crummy'. This is a problem ive noticed before with mario vargas llosa's 'los cachorros'. Its annoying cos they could have gone for much more neutral choices with much better results.
Im finding it useful as a reference when reading the spanish as the language is quite difficult, (lots of slang) but otherwise i'd avoid the translation. Shame
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Hey Benny, Cheers for that - Ill take a look round and see if I can find a better version of it. What edition should I avoid?
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Hey Benny, Cheers for that - Ill take a look round and see if I can find a better version of it. What edition should I avoid?

i`ve got the one translated by Hardie St. Martin & Leonard Mades, not sure there is another version unfortunately. it was done in 1973 and needs an update, the heavy use of american slang from that era makes it read horrifically dated. you'd never think the story was taking place in chile going from the dialogue (although they do a good job with the other parts of the book, which must have been extremely challenging to translate). its a 'soft' translation that caters to american readers, rather than a 'hard' translation which would use more neutral or untranslated words with footnotes. the latter approach gives the reader a much deeper understanding and feel for the cultural context imo, and wouldn't date so badly.

i only really became fully aware of these issues when i started reading in spanish 3 years ago. i wonder how many great books have been spoiled by bad translations?

while we're here, how does bolaño read in english? would be interested to see how they did with savage detectives.
 

148 I.Q. Magical Thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
I've been enjoying this over the weekend

41wF9xV%2BbiL.jpg


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cyclogeography-Journeys-London-Bicycle-Courier/dp/1907903992

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/01/my-life-cycle-courier-london-cyclogeography
 

griftert

Well-known member
I like the Bolano translations: Natasha Wimmer especially. I have the notion that women seem to make better translators but maybe that's just a kind of sexism on my part.

Often I'm frustrated reading so many translations and I resolve to rather read prose written in English in the original but the cultural limitations this involves are somewhat stifling.

At the moment I'm reading The Guyana Quartet by Wilson Harris. British Guyanese writer. Quite good, a very dense poetic style.

guyana.jpg
 

148 I.Q. Magical Thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
I can only assume, from the blurb, that the author is a fan of The Third Policeman.

Or has perhaps independently come to some of the same conclusions as Flan O'Brien.

The former, he's an English Literature lecturer at KCL and Flann O'Brien is one of his pet subjects. I came to this having started the Third Policeman and The Dalkey Archive a couple of weeks ago. An Irish girlfriend introduced me to him via The Poor Mouth. His Catechism of Cliché is a little dated now, but rings true now and then.

Jon Day recommends the Need for the Bike by Paul Fournel, a philosophical meditation on cycling, which should turn up any day now. He also meets with Iain Sinclair, who doesn't much like cycling or cyclists.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
I like the Bolano translations: Natasha Wimmer especially. I have the notion that women seem to make better translators but maybe that's just a kind of sexism on my part.

Often I'm frustrated reading so many translations and I resolve to rather read prose written in English in the original but the cultural limitations this involves are somewhat stifling.

yes i've read a couple of interviews with natasha wimmer, she seems to have a good approach though i havent actually read her translations. she spends a loooong time on them.

she made the point that, although all the differences between chilean, mexican, peninsular spanish language etc that bolaño uses are inevitably lost in translation, the majority would also be lost on most spanish speakers in the original text.

i think the way forward is more annotations and footnotes, retaining more of the original language in the text. of course that requires a lot more engagement from the reader, but i think its worth it for the deeper understanding.
 

griftert

Well-known member
I tend to agree actually, I think that supplementary notes on stuff like that have helped me in the past.
Danuta Borchardt's translation of Gombrowicz's Ferdydurke (incidentally a favourite novel of Bolano's) has a nice essay about the translation process attached that explains a few idiosyncrasies and choices. I felt it gave a sense of what problems the translation job in particular entailed and how they were dealt with. There is nothing worse than reading about a much-hyped book and finding that it's peppered with outmoded 60's Americanisms. I'm quite disappointed about the Donoso. It's been on my list for a while.

Just started reading Thelen - The Island of Second Sight. I usually hate anything called picaresque but this piqued my interest so to speak. Thomas Mann called it one of the best novels of the 20th century.
31SujcxT3HL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 

you

Well-known member
Finally, 10:04 by Ben Lerner. Great book after so many disappointing new novels. About time too.
 

jenks

thread death
Patrick Modiano - Suspended Sentences, The Night Watch, Ring Roads - anything I can find, obsessively interested in his work. He won the Nobel last year and writes about Paris during the Nazi occupation. He appears to have been well served by some decent translators. Highly recommended.
 

griftert

Well-known member
Read the new David Graeber 'Utopia of Rules' about bureaucracy after enjoying Debt a few years back. He's a really nice writer, has a way of making quite complex arguments and structures have a very discursive and relaxed feel as he takes you through them. This book sometimes tends towards sub Zizekian-pop culture references for the sake of it but there's definitely some interesting arguments in here. And certainly it's a subject that merits more work. Would recommend reading it.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Recently started Sebald's The Rings of Saturn - loving it so far, broadly similar in style to Austerlitz. It's amazing how the author simply travelling from place to place and not really doing anything at all becomes this perfect vehicle for observations, interesting historical asides and philosophical speculations. An entire novel seemingly composed exclusively of tangents.
 

CrowleyHead

Well-known member
Blazed through In Their Own Write, the rock journalism book. Got v. UK centric once you pass the midway point (bc Spin, Cometbus, Maximum Rock & Roll, Touch & Go, Anti-Matter and all the things we did wasn't worth talking about apparently, but the battle within Q Mag over Oasis being good or bad was so polarizing). Still p. good. Everyone really hates Ian Penman tho, huh?

Also finished a book on the history of dancehall. Currently diverting time between Norman Cohn's book on apocalypse fascination, a Foucault text, and the book on 80s Miles Davis by George Cole.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson is exceptional. I think he may be the best living American sci fi writer.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Just finished ''The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" by Oliver Sacks.

About to try and read "Memoirs from The House of the Dead" by Dostoevsky.
 
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