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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Tuesday October 07, 2003
10:57 PM

Sinister Translations

[ #15113 ]
Dear Log,

Translation is MAGIC! Alakazam! Alakazim! Watch as a rampaging translator turns passable English prose into unspeakable French!

I think this has inspired me to find my true niche: to be a literary supervillain. I would fund the production of deliberately wrongheaded translations. I am torn over which to do first: getting someone to translate Hemmingway into mawkish rambling Italian, or to have someone translate the whole of Neal Stephenson's Necronomicon into a hundred and fifty pages of maudlin introspective biblical Hebrew!

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  • That French is merely nowadays journalish style. Beststellers are often written in it. Cross that with a translation à la va-vite and you've got this article. It reminds me French technical articles and computer books. The beau style is merely dying since the beginning of the XVIIIth century. Blame the bourgeois.

    Further reading : Des causes de la corruption du goust by Madame Dacier -- written during the XVIIth century, primarily against a wrongheaded translation of Homer.

  • Is that the book about Second World War maths geeks discovering the secret formula for raising the dead?
    • I hauled around a copy of the bulky, heavy hardcover Cryptonomicon yesterday trying to sell it back to the two bookstores in town. I guess this made me WISH FOR DEATH so much that I mentally changed the title to Necronomicon.

      Crap. I'm just gonna donate it to the public library. I would ship it to a bookstore out of town, but the postage on this HEAP would be more than it's worth.

  • In Calvino's novel, the subversive translator, Ermes Marana creates a web of translations of translations of novels based on original novels: the translations are inaccurate (to the extent of being completely different stories and genres) and the original novels, purporting to be written in a language that never actually existed from a country that never existed, are themselves fakes.
    --

    osfameron