Wednesday, 30 March 2011

More Benjamin and Pletzinger

At the risk of never blogging about anything except Ross Benjamin and Thomas Pletzinger, here's a link to a fascinating interview in the Iowa Review by Diana Thow about how the two of them worked together on translating Pletzinger's novel Funeral for a Dog.

Ross says: "I read the whole book before I translated it. I was aware of that interplay of two different voices that also sometimes overlap, sometimes diverge, that are clearly supposed to be distinct, and not just two different voices but two different modes of writing, one being notebook entries and one being a rough draft, a manuscript of a novel, and that was all there in the original novel, and it was there in my head when I was translating. The translator has to reproduce everything that he can, not just the meaning of the sentences but also the different voices, modes of writing, styles and registers."

And Thomas says: "I learned a lot about translating by watching Ross translate my book. It’s asked me to rethink my process as a translator as well. Because I called myself a translator before, but I wasn’t a real translator. Ross is a real translator. The project of bringing Funeral for a Dog into English let me see a real translator at work."

There's also revealing stuff about door handles and pizzas and ethnic labelling.

And while I'm at it, you can also read Thomas Pletzinger asking Sufjan Stevens if he's read his book yet, at BOMB Magazine.

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