Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Clemens Meyer and the Quite Good Translation

David Varno reports on Words Without Borders on the PEN World Voices reading in New York I would most like to have attended - Clemens Meyer (sadly minus Antje Rávic Strubel and Zaia Alexander) on writing in reunified Germany. Meyer read from a translation by yours truly, and it feels very odd to read someone else mention that fact.

It sounds like Meyer was on fine form - and you can read about some of his other adventures in the USA (in German) at his FAZ blog.

Looks like the title of the translation needs changing, though. And I wish I'd known Meyer was such a fan of Traven's Das Totenschiff, which made a huge impression on me too, and which I think also informed Sherko Fatah's excellent Das dunkle Schiff.

I like the anecdote about the racing commentator. Translating that section was fun. I researched it by going to the races at Hoppegarten (although I'm normally more of a Karlshorst kinda girl) and watching hours of horseracing on Youtube. Then I tested it out at our no man's land translation lab here in Berlin (every first Tuesday of the month). I hope the result matched up to some extent.

Let's hope Varno gets a chance to read more of Clemens Meyer in English in future.

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