A Bonus Post...
On "An Incident"
You may remember the wonderful dialogue we had re. “An Incident” among various Club members who were translators. At the suggestion of, and with the help of, Paul Dowling, I offer this compilation of that dialogue, where we discussed the different translations and the effect of translation on our understanding of the text.
Incase it’s helpful to anyone, here is how you can bookmark interesting or lengthy comments that you may wish to return to.
> Each comment or thread has it's own direct link.
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A bit clunky but it works and helps me to keep up with so many great comments.
Thank you so much for this, George and everybody who contributed to the discussion. I have to admit that the Yang version of the story didn't really do it for me. I could appreciate the skill of the author but the human being behind the narrator was not someone I wanted to meet. I'm not sure why. The Lovell version throws the whole thing into a completely different light. Not being able to read the original, I have no idea how much of that is due to the translators' personalities, which would necessarily influence their reading of the intent behind the original words and how much to their skill in writing English words that evoke the original best, but it sure is fun to to think about it.
Anyone who has grown up bilingual in languages that are a long way apart (Croatian and English in my case) will remember moments of exquisite embarrassment when a seemingly reasonable translation turns out to be entirely off, or worse still, hilarious. Great translators are truly exceptional people, who can take us to another place and time and and show us aspects of other cultures that we could never otherwise experience in any other way. Wonderful stuff.