Saturday, 12 September 2009

Five books for six euros

The rather bizarre "Jim's market" sells British goods (oatcakes, marmite and on weekend lunchtimes fish and chips) and also has a splendid book corner offering six books for five euros. I can never resist fishing through the second hand shelves and on Thursday I turned up a real treasure, something I've wanted for a while Emilie Carles' A Wild Herb Soup - Une soupe aux herbes sauvages. I first came across Emilie Carles' story in Phyllis Rose's wonderful Penguin Book of Women's Lives so picking up an almost unused copy of the English translation is a great treat for the start of my holiday.
For now I'll just share these snippets from Avril H Goldberger's translator's note which begins the English version:

The translator's goal is to open a window onto the original text, to communicate the message so faithfully that the reader will not be aware of the translator's mediation while in the process of reading. Nonetheless, the reader must not be allowed to forget the cultural and temporal distance between our world and that of Carles. Thus, even in striving to "convert [that] strangeness into likeness", I worked to "bring home ... the strangeness of the original", to quote John Felstiner's luminous Translating Neruda.

Goldberger ends her translato's note by quoting Gregory Rabassa saying that "translation is the closest possible reading of a text".

So picking up one second book has opened up whole new worlds of reading possibilities. A good way to begin our staycation.