Good morning campers! Today's the day JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy comes out in German. It's called Ein plötzlicher Todesfall - not the most imaginative title ever but even I had to look up what on earth a casual vacancy is. It is in fact a post on a committee which becomes free suddenly outside of the usual election period, which is a bit tricky to translate. Anyway, the German version has two translators, Susanne Aeckerle and Marion Balkenhol, who worked on it on Bloomsbury's London premises, with the aim of avoiding piracy. Lucky them - apart from the French edition, which comes out tomorrow, the rest of the translators are getting the manuscripts today as well. According to The Guardian, the Finnish translator has three weeks to work on it.
All at the instigation of Rowling's agency. Strangely, the writer seems to surround herself with people who don't give a shit about translators - remember the 800lb gorilla that trampled all over her Hebrew translator's rights? Publishers Weekly cites Slovenian publisher André Ilc as saying, “Her agent would like to establish her as a quality author for adults,
but at the same time this is forcing publishers around the world to
break all the rules of good translating and editing.” Actually, there's no need to read the Guardian article because it's cribbed almost entirely from the very interesting PW piece.
Der Spiegel, meanwhile, is doing the world a favour and running a live ticker on the book, starting at 9 a.m. CET. That's any minute now! Someone else will read the book on our behalf and report back live. Here's the link.
Oh, and Stefan Mesch is live tweeting too, and is a bit ruder than Der Spiegel. Which is fairly rude but mostly a bit silly.