Someone’s passed me the English edition, with the usual gibberish-infested flap. The Scotsman describes it as having “a dramatic tension that so many contemporary novels today seem to lack,” while Scotland on Sunday says, “The translation by Lucia Graves is excellent, mixing formality with poetry, so the rambling prose occasionally sparkles with lovely phrases … The twists of the story which fold in on itself again and again like complicated origami, eventually reveal a simple shape. Love and deception are at the heart of the literary mystery – aren’t they always?” Reviewers are still preferable to literary critics, but there does seem to be a peculiar tradition in Scotland of entrusting the work to one’s slowest, weepiest cousin. High-falutin’ Anglo expats are terribly snotty about Zafón (“Well of course darling it was simply HOPELESS before Lucia (¡She’s SO like her father!) translated it”), which may have something to do with every last gin and tonic of them having a Transition novel pulverising irritably in the cabinet.
- Ali Smith on literature in translation
Ali Smith (via Transblawg) makes some ill-conceived remarks in the London Times re the availability of translated literature on the UK
- French exam
I omitted one feasible fraudulent etymology from the Viadós post because the etymon in question is little known and less read,
- Borrowed glory
Tim Parks slags some prominent Italian-English literary translators and praises some lesser-known ones in the New York Review of Books: The
- Catalan women are fat and ugly, say the Greeks
Here are a couple of fragments from Antoni Rubió i Lluch’s L’Expedició catalana a l’Orient vista pels grecs (The Catalan Expedition
- The universality of bu/bo/boo
The strange shrieks of theatrical monsters often don’t require translation.