Translation Why ?

I ve read Tony’s post on translation ,He kindly mentions me but I will now admit something I wonder what difference I have made and why I was mentioned in such hallowed company . I ‘ve spent two year promoting translation and building this blog and to be truthful recently my heart has gone hence lack of post last two months ,I do wonder if I get the message across and my passion because it is a passion to me   .I have reviewed two hundred translations. but feel I ve not made even made a small dent on the readers that don’t even bother reading translation I m not even at base camp yet I need to get to the peak  .This is the point where I d think of a change of direction in the past  but no actually I step back as I struggled  with my own conviction on this journey .But now with Spanish language month on the horizon  .I face the blog and twitter world with renewed excitement  and vigour .so why translation I may ask the opposite why not translation .I ve been round the world been young and  old ,in the wars ,in prison  ,in dream worlds , ancient cities ,imagined cities solved crime in the heat ,cold ,now and then .All that due to translation so hear me I will continue the battle to place a translation in every readers hand .

35 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rob
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 22:27:22

    Stirring stuff, mate. Good on you. And keep up the good fight, because we all know you’re making a difference.


  2. JoV
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 22:55:53

    Translated novels are what promotes further understanding into another culture. I find translated novels refreshing and different from the anglocentric ones. I certainly would always add translated fiction in my reading diet and needless to say your blog plays a pivotal role in introducing these translated works! Keep up the good work.


  3. amanda
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 02:45:07

    Oh, please do continue promoting translated works! I know I’ve certainly added books to my TBR list thanks to you, and I’m really looking forward to Spanish Lang. Lit. Month. What you’ve said about what you’ve experienced thanks to translation is lovely, we all need to know this, more.


  4. Richard
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 03:04:10

    “Why not translation?” That’s the question, isn’t it? Like the others, I think you’re fighting the good fight However, I don’t think you should let people who don’t want to pick up a translation get you down. Think of it: why would anybody in their right mind want to limit themselves to books published in one language when they could have the whole world at their fingertips reading-in-translation-wise? Those people aren’t worth losing any sleep over.


  5. Penny
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 05:30:10

    Two thoughts. First, I have told others, especially lit professors about your blog as a resource for finding good, contemporary literature from other countries to list for their students. They like the blog. You may have more readers than you realize. Second, Blog Burnout, it happens. Perhaps you could consider spending three weeks doing something other than reading & writing —- I mean DRAWING & PAINTING & SCULPTING. Stretch yourself. Who said you have to be Michelangelo in draftsmanship? Think of burnout as stiff muscles in the Passion for Ideas part of your brain. Okay, the metaphor is a little strange, nonetheless, the recommendation is that it is time for Winston to lead his dad into some of the other creative aspects of life. Not just walking, but dabbling and playing with creativity. Go stack some rocks on a beach, Andy Goldsworthy style.


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 23, 2012 @ 19:24:31

      Many thanks I check figures but never sure where the come from
      Fully ,I listen to lot music away fr blogging and of course walk winston which is good head clearing thinking time


  6. Violet
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 07:43:53

    I think the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”, applies to blogging about books. We can only publish a post and hope someone reads it and feels inspired to read the book.


  7. Tony
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 09:50:34

    Don’t get disheartened Stu – you’ve achieved a lot over the past couple of years, and many people get their news of literature in translation from your blog. You’re one of the reasons my own blogging is becoming increasingly dominated by translated fiction (so you get some of the praise – or blame!).


  8. Petty Witter
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 13:35:33

    Such a thought provoking post. i’m with Richard in his comment.


  9. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 16:26:42

    Hi Stu, sometimes we cannot imagine the effects of our blogs on readers. Let me say this but I was inspired to do a bit more translation by you and another blogger called Amy of Amy Reads. I get your point, but we do more.


  10. Parrish
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 19:37:18

    Totally agree with this sentiment, but as I said in my post on this subject (), we are partly preaching to the converted here in the blogosphere, as you’re talking to people open to literature. Although that’s no reason to be disparaged, as with World Book Night even if the range starts out limited if you can introduce just one person to a new experience & that person goes off inspired & introduces more, your mission is a success & I’m guessing in your two years you’ve introduced more than one individual, in fact I know because I’m one on the list of people that have chosen books based on a post of yours.


  11. Annabel (gaskella)
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 08:55:25

    Stu – I always read your blog, but I don’t always have time to leave a comment. I’m sure there are many, many others like me. I have gone out and bought books you’ve loved too e.g. The Twin, Kamchatka. Although I don’t read enough translation, I do read some, so you are preaching to the converted with me. But take heart, the blogosphere is a richer place for blogs like yours – so keep it up. I have recently got a Spanish book – Waiting for Robert Capa by Susanna Fortes, so maybe I can join in Spanish Lit month (after Beryl of course).


  12. amymckie
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 21:08:20

    I often think more that I read what I do and blog about what I do for myself – If I’m enjoying it, then I don’t really care what others think of it 😉 You’re doing great, keep doing what makes you happy.


  13. WordsAndPeace
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 21:23:05

    I would think that readers looking for good writers would be open to works in translation: there are so many good writers in other languages, and they open so much your reading horizon with their different style, different focus.
    The best would be of course to read books in the language they were originally written; personally, i can only do this with French and Spanish. So I resolve to translators for all the other languages, such as Japanese – could you be a serious reader and ignore Japanese literature??, italian (Italo Calvino, oh my word!!), Russian, etc etc.
    i’m doing a Books In Translation Reading Challenge this year, though only 5 reviewed so far:


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 23, 2012 @ 19:54:00

      No you have to read Calvino and Borges and such to understand lit and how it has developed


      • WordsAndPeace
        Jun 23, 2012 @ 20:06:02

        I totally agree. I enjoyed Borges decades ago, I have to go back to him.
        I enjoyed thoroughly If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler [] and just requested Invisible Cities, as it is not in my local library.
        I am almost ready to launch into learning Italian to read this guy in his own language.
        Being French, and mastering written Spanish, it should not be too hard actually.
        I am curious: which of Calvino’s books is your favorite? and why?

      • winstonsdad
        Jun 23, 2012 @ 20:09:23

        I love invisible cites it is my favourite love way it seems about one thing thou is about Venice really calvino love of that city , I half started a Borges project I hope to go back to later in the year

      • WordsAndPeace
        Jun 23, 2012 @ 21:50:11


  14. Kelly
    Jun 23, 2012 @ 16:13:18

    I absolutely love and agree with what you said here:
    “.I ve been round the world been young and old ,in the wars ,in prison ,in dream worlds , ancient cities ,imagined cities solved crime in the heat ,cold ,now and then .”
    I know you’re making a difference Stu. I have so many books in translation that I’ve found through you that are waiting to be read 🙂


  15. tolmsted
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 00:10:17

    You’re doing an amazing job and I really do think a difference has been made already. Every year I see more translations available in more bookshops… haven’t you noticed? Maybe not as big a difference as most of us would like – but your reviews and #translationthurs really have made an impact.


  16. Sarah
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 07:20:16

    I was checking earlier, and I have at least five books (so far unread) in Spanish language. And three of them I have acquired specifically for your challenge.

    Not only that but last time I was buying books for birthday presents I used your blog for reference, and people are getting translation whether they like or not!


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June 2012


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