Whats your favouite translation ?

I m wanting to do a 100 best translation list ,I ve seen various hundred best  list but not seen one solely of translations  I ve a lot ideas for  books to be on the list  ,but thought I d throw the floor open and take suggestions .I often get ask for suggestions where to start with world lit so thought a list of hundred books would be a great starting place for readers .So what have been your favourite books from round the world ?


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mel u
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 05:29:12

    Here are few ideas-from Chile I like 2666 and Savage Detectives both by Roberto Bolano-in the Japanese novel I like Naomi by Junichiro Tanizaki, from Columbia 100 years of Solitude,


    • lizzysiddal
      Mar 31, 2011 @ 06:11:48

      The Tin Drum – Grass – Translated by Breon Mitchell
      Visitation – Erpenbeck – Translated by Susan Bernofsky
      The Dark Room of Damocles – Hermanns – Translated by Ina Rilke

      There are more – I shall have a think …..


  2. bythefirelight
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 06:10:29

    It’s too hard to pick and I should be in bed, so all that comes to mind is Fictions by Borges and Pedro Parama by Rulfo. Although, I would very much like to Read the Death of Artemo Cruz again some day.


  3. parrish
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 06:14:04

    Obviously I’m going with Bolano, but add on Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s Rashomon & 17 other tales, Pablo Neruda’s Fully Empowered, & this list could go on for decades so I’ll round up with Italo Calvino, but which one, it might as well be the last I read- If on a winters night.


  4. parrish
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 06:16:50

    Ps. forgot Murakami.


  5. Sarah
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 07:07:47

    I would plump for Italo Calvino, too, but was going to suggest Invisible Cities
    José Eduardo Agualusa –The Book of Chameleons
    Jiang Rong – Wolf Totem
    Tove Jansson – The Summer Book
    and Amelie Nothomb

    Not forgetting Flaubert, Tolstoy and Nabokov. (Invitation to a Beheading is translated from the Russian but I am not sure about the rest.)


  6. Frank
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 07:09:57

    Nice to see lizzysiddal chose Breon Mitchell’s magnificent new translation of Grass rather than Manheim’s – to my ear – workmanlike earlier translation. (I’m not in a position to its fidelity)

    Tournier’s “The Erl-King”: Barbara Bray’s translation (incomprehensibly retitled The Ogre)
    Homer’s Illiad: “War Music” Christopher Logue’s “account” – a strange, dazzling, deliberately anachronistic poem in its own right
    Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita”: Burgin/Tiernan O’Connor translation
    Queneau: “Exercises in Style” (translated by Barbara Wright)
    William Weaver’s masterly translation of Calvino’s “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller”
    Cervantes “Don Quijote” in Burton Raffel’s translation (which has been unfairly overshadowed by Edith Grossman’s fine, but over-hyped version)


  7. Tom C
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 07:13:58

    Oh, I think I’d go for Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain – John E Woods. Not being fluent in German I don’t know whether its a good translation but it certainly reads well and has been highly acclaimed by people who know about these things


  8. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 10:54:25

    So many, I don’t know where to start…but how about these:

    Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
    Out by Natsuo Kirino
    Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
    Independent People by Halldor Laxness
    Blindness by Jose Saramago

    I look forward to seeing which books make your list.


  9. Gavin
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 14:07:46

    The first to jump into my brain was Bolano’s 666 translated by Natasha Wimmer, then Fagles’ Iliad and Odyssey and Garcia Marquez and One Hundred Years of Solitude translated by Gregory Rabassa…and the Pevear and Volokhonsky War and Peace. I’m sure there will be more.


  10. sakura
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 14:25:44

    Two books I enjoyed last year were The Samurai by Shusaku Endo (trans. Van C. Gessell) and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (trans. Alison Anderson). I also really liked The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (I’m not sure who translated it, but it was the Vintage edition).


  11. Kinna
    Mar 31, 2011 @ 16:32:29

    Stu, I don’t know where to start. The Leopard by di Lampedusa, God’s Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane, everything Calvino, Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda. I would add her Time of the Doves but I think a better translation will be published soon, I hope. The Bridge over Drina by Ivo Andric, Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Texaco by Patrick Chamioseau, infact all books by Chamoiseau and Giselle Pineau and Raphael Confiant. Books by Nawal el Saadawi and Naguib Mahfouz, plus I second all the other suggestions 🙂 Oh books by Bohumil Hrabal.


  12. Rise
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 05:29:17

    Lots. But the following is a start.

    The Plague by Albert Camus
    Don Quixote (I thoroughly liked John Rutherford’s translation)
    Blow-Up and Other Stories by Julio Cortazar
    The Trial by Franz Kafka (translated by Breon Mitchell)
    Death in Midsummer by Yukio Mishima (various translators)
    The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago
    The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald

    If you’ll consider nonfiction:
    Gathering Evidence by Thomas Bernhard


  13. mee
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:26:16

    Too many to mention! My favorites are Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, 100 Years of Solitude by GGM.


  14. The Book Whisperer
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 12:56:15

    Forgot to reply to this one, Stu. All the books below are, in my opinion, beautifully translated. Wonderful books.

    Wolf Totem – Jiang Rong
    Bindness – Jose Saramago
    Beside the Sea – Veronique Olmi
    Before We Say Goodbye – Gabriella Ambrosio
    The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xinran
    All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
    Fire in the Blood – Irene Nemirovsky
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbary


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March 2011


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