Triple Choice Tuesday

I’ve been offline a fair bit the last few days and so unable to post responses or new blog entries.

V is nearly finished, and continues to be excellent. I’ve also read recently a rather disappointing David Goodis short story/novella which I’ll talk about soon.

In the meantime, Kimbofo has very kindly invited me to participate in her Triple Choice Tuesday series. For those unfamiliar with it bloggers choose a favourite book, a book that changed their world and a book that deserves a wider audience. My choices are here.

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8 Comments

Filed under Personal posts

8 responses to “Triple Choice Tuesday

  1. leroyhunter

    Nice choices Max, who could argue with Flaubert and Chandler? I’d picked up on Szerb thanks to Nick Lezard in the Guardian, but it was your review that convinced me to get The Pendragon Legend, which now sits on the TBR pile.

    Great feature by kimbofo as well.

  2. There were a lot of books I could have chosen. I did wonder if I was being overobvious, anyone reading it already knows about Flaubert and Chandler, but they seemed honest choices which I think is probably the key thing.

    The Szerb is huge fun.

    It is a nice feature isn’t it? I have some books mentioned in other entries still to check out.

  3. As I said over at Kim’s Place, great choices Max. I do enjoy Kim’s Triple Choice Tuesday. Her questions aren’t easy are they!

  4. I can only reiterate the previous sentiment: great choices. Have you read the recent Lydia Davis translation of Bovary? I noticed Julian Barnes was unimpressed by it.

  5. leroyhunter

    Lee: as someone prone to “translation anxiety”, I should have been the target market for the Barnes piece. In fact I found it to be an extended exercise in nit-pickery. His conclusion (“Not bad…but nothing special” IIRC) didn’t really seem worth the effort.

  6. Leroy: I did get that impression! I suffer from the ailment you mention and, as much as I love Lydia Davis (and it is a lot) I was put off her Flaubert translation. This ameliorates my unease somewhat.

  7. leroyhunter

    I’m going to give Lydia the benefit of the doubt and try her Bovary – I thought her version of Swann’s Way read wonderfully well by comparison with Moncreiff/Kilmartin.

    I just don’t think forensic comparison of sentences or small passages is the way to judge a translation (granting that doesn’t show up egregious errrors). You can’t get a feel for the flow, tone and aptness of choices in such short bursts.

  8. They’re not easy questions. Not at all in fact.

    I haven’t read the Davis Bovary yet. Despite Barnes’ reservations I probably shall though. After all, the worst outcome is I read a not bad translation of one of the best books ever written. I can live with that outcome.

    I do agree that forensic comparison of sentences often isn’t the best way to judge a translation. Often it’s what we have to do (if I’m comparing in a shop I basically read the same passage in each translation I’m comparing) but it’s the overall flow and feel that’s key.

    Translation anxiety. I certainly know that feeling. I spend ages choosing translation sometimes.

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