marți, 14 noiembrie 2006

Being Translated

One of the first languages my novels were translated into was Dutch. Now, I cannot speak or read Dutch, my translator never made contact and, duly, the novels appeared. Because every Dutch person I had ever met spoke perfect English this was one set of translations that I never wondered about. But then, when “A Good Man in Africa”, “An Ice-Cream War” and “Stars and Bars” had been translated into, respectively, “Gewoon een Beste Kerel”, “Gewoon een Oorrlogie and Sterren”, “Strepen en een Gewoon Englesman”, I began to worry. What was this “Gewoon” business, for Heaven’s sake? Did they think I was writing some kind of serial novel? To this day I’ve never dared ask.

William Boyd – Bamboo (non-fiction writing)

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