Monday, October 18, 2010

Reviewing Kudos

I was very impressed to note in the 6 September issue of the New Yorker that a book reviewer, James Wood, actually read a translated book and its original in order to comment on the translation. This is very rare but a welcome step in terms of reviewing translated literature. Writing about Jean-Christophe Valtat’s book O3, Mr. Wood said:

“Some of the aesthetic credit should go to Mitzi Angel, Valtat’s translator. A reading of the original novella, published in 2005, reveals what a careful, alchemical job she has done, often coming up with ingenious slang, and with creative ways of patching English syntax into complex, and very French, phrasing.”

I hope more reviewers follow Mr. Wood’s example of comparing the original to the translation.

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