Off-topical tranny

The last time I went down Ridley Road market, this geezer (nature of usage: advisèd) was selling a sheep that looked as if he’d slaughtered it himself while on acid in the back of his Mondeo. Things are changing, notes the wonderful Hackney Gazette, via April, via Albert Pantygirdle, who is back on the…

No more mademoiselles?

Erik Dams has been czeching old French ladies who insist on being called “mademoiselle”, but it seems that moves are underway to end the official distinction between “madame” and “mademoiselle”. I’ve never understood why titles have to figure on forms anyway: I’ve filled in “Mrs” for years; no harm has ever come to me as…

Denis MacShane piece on France

I’ve got a soft spot for Denis MacShane, who never really fitted the New Labour mould. Here‘s a piece by him on France. The sentence that will probably annoy most: “Pour un Britannique, la France est comme un remake des années 70 au Royaume-Uni” (my emphasis).

Vallecas portraits

Vallecas officially became part of Madrid in 1950. Here‘s a gallery of some of the village elders. Barcelona’s Gracia district has been centrally administered for much longer, but has an even stronger sense of space- and time-capsulity.

Translation diary

Ramón Buenaventura’s published a journal of his translation of Jonathan Franzen’s The corrections. He concludes that, for several reasons, including the rapidity imposed by the coordination of publication in various languages and the lifelessness of Spanish slangs, it is impossible to translate the novel well. That seems narcissistic to me, but that may be because…