Thursday, 6 May 2010


Loyal readers may have noticed I felt a certain affinity to Helene Hegemann's novel Axolotl Roadkill. And perhaps the odd person thought: Hey, she's a translator, she could put it into English so the rest of us can read it.

And yes! That's exactly what I'm going to do! I'm going to roll up my sleeves and confront those blackouts, sweaty T-shirts and ten different illegal drugs head on. I'm going to revel in the gorgeous language, feel my way into fucked-up Mifti like a first-class voyeur and - I hope - enjoy every minute of it.

By way of method translation, I shall continue to love my parents and dress in a stylish manner, as Hegemann recommends. I won't be going to Berghain because my body clock's all wrong for that kind of partying. But I've already started eavesdropping on conversations to find out how clubgoing people really talk - not that the book makes any claim to authenticity, which is one of the things I like about it. I'm also rather grateful for the detailed list of sources, something a translator usually has to use guesswork to get around.

Look out for the book in the UK next year from Constable & Robinson. US publishers have yet to take the bait, I believe.

It's a real privilege to translate a novel like this that I'm genuinely enthusiastic about, and I'm hugely excited about it. Feel free to congratulate me.


Jan Groh said...

Here we go, Katy: congrats!!! :-)
Seems to be very reasonable of the publisher to choose a translatress (um, hope that's not offending, I just want to emphasize the 70 % female nature of translations...) and one from Berlin who could easily do some self-studying in the Berghain.
So happy flight on magic mushrooms or whatever ;-)

kjd said...

Thank you, Jan - I feel quite comfortable with Aphra Behn's coining of translatress.

Harvey Morrell said...

Consider yourself congratulated. Now I'm torn between buying it in German when I go to Munich tomorrow, or buying it off when it comes out next year. :)

kjd said...

Buy both, Harvey! Then you can support two different European economies.

Harvey Morrell said...

I guess that means I should also buy the Greek translation. They need all they help they can get.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!!! Envy, envy envy. Back to my textbook on the late Middle Ages….

David said...

Congrats! and I look forward to plagiarizing your translation.