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Der Wert von Übersetzungen … “All items tagged lesbian-made-of-wool” 8th of May, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 05:31

I read Bret Easton Ellis’ “The Rules of Attraction” and “Less than Zero” in English in the late nineties, and then “American Psycho” in a French translation around 2001. (I try to avoid reading things in second languages that I wouldn’t read in my first, and this was part of that.) And, the style was that of the other books, the book was as impressive as I could imagine it being. I read a few chapters of it in English later, and it was, well, exactly like the French version, modulo the language. So I’m essentially in agreement with this guy, in that in my experience, a translation can convey what the author meant very well.

Which I suppose makes me question if Gabriel García Márquez is that good of a writer. I’ve started “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” but then no longer had the opportunity to read it. I have his “El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba” in Spanish; reading it is one more reason to stay in, then.

Favourite graffito of the day: “My mom made me a lesbian.” “If I bought her the wool, would she make me one too?”

Word of the day: „Ungeziefer“ is one German word for “vermin” and is probably most known internationally for Kafka’s „Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt.“


A Polish acquaintance recommended Michael Kandel’s translations of Lem to me, but said to avoid the other translators. I finished Solaris recently, which is a double translation. I found myself wondering if it was the worse for wear for it because it seemed klunkier to me than his other novels I’d read. but maybe my reading perception has changed over the years, and not the novels.

Btw, I read One Hundred Years of Solitude in English, then started The Autumn of the Patriarch. which I hated and didn’t finish.


I suspect Márquez’ output is in general uneven.

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