Friday, 12 March 2010

Mystery Translator Revealed*

So I'd threatened to storm the reading in my balaclava in defence of the poor uncredited translator of Tobias Rapp's Lost and Sound. You remember, right? After all that verbal radicalism I could hardly back down. And so I found myself outside a smoky room full of hipster ex-pats at an event about techno culture.

Armed with my placards and megaphone and with my getaway car parked outside, I battled my way in, shouting "Credit the translator! Credit the translator!" Distracted from the clubbing experts' panel discussion on professionalism and selling out, drugs and music and glitter makeup, all heads turned my way. "Is there a translator in the house? Stand up for your rights, fellow ferryman of words!"

A slight cough came from the back of the room, where a young man dressed in black was shifting in his seat. I blazed him with the beam of my maglight: "Was it you? Was it you who supplied this sparkling translation? Then stand up, man, and take your rightful place on the podium!" The crowds parted, their murmur gradually building up to a cheer, stomping their feet and clapping in admiration. And the man inched his way forward, slowed down by all the hands patting his back and arms thrown around him, until the audience finally hoisted him up and passed him above their heads on a surf-ride to the stage.

Yes, this was the man: Paul Sabin, the translator of Tobias Rapp's ode to Berlin's techno culture. And at last he was given his rightful recognition as co-creator of a work of art. His was the glory, this was his moment. May there be many more.

*This description may vary slightly from actual events. But it'd have been boring to write that he was on the podium to start with and has been nagging the publishers/record company to put his name on the website for a while now. Maybe they'll get the picture some time soon.


crumpet0552 said...

Oh. Katy! I'm so proud of you! Even if actual events varied slightly from your impassioned imagining of what they might have been, it's the thought (as they say) that counts...
BTW: I found out by chance that my best friend and hubby are going to Berlin the first weekend in May, and I hope to join them. Any ideas for possible literary events/pubs/happenings/etc. that might be worth trying?

kjd said...

Thanks Crumpet. A bit soon to say what's going on on May 1-2 - apart from the traditional rioting, of course.
I'd say look at listings magazines online nearer the time (Zitty, Tip). And that weekend almost almost has good weather!