Some bloggers apparently think my entries are exactly what they would have written themselves if they hadn’t had something better to do. So much for vanity!
At least two blogs link to the Zeit interview with the literary translator (and occasional inhabitant of Lindenstraße) Harry Rowohlt and add the word ‘Lesen!’.
I haven’t been able to use that word since Else Stratmann became responsible for it on TV and taught us that reading is Good In Itself (provided we don’t claim to like highbrow stuff like Proust).
I liked the Winnetou reference too, although what I read elsewhere in Die Zeit about Karl May’s take on the Armenian massacre was not so appealing.
Rowohlt gets up at 6 a.m. and does his 5 pages. He says he gets standard payment. Maybe he gets more royalties than some. It’s one of the mysteries of translation how literary translators survive. When asked if he admires other translators, he mentions Hans Wollschläger, and the interviewer suggests he must envy W. for translating Joyce’s Ulysses.
bq. Ich? Das soll doch bitte außer mir jeder machen. Diesen stinklangweiligen Kalauerer. Wenn einem bei Halbinsel, peninsula, nix anderes als Penis einfällt, kann ich das weder bewundern noch im Mindesten komisch finden. Arno Schmidt hat doch, ohne es zu wollen, viel Unheil angerichtet. Leute sagen jetzt »auf jeden Fall« und denken dabei Phall. Die waren sonst schon mit Pippi Langstrumpf ganz gut bedient.
Too true. By the way, I remember hearing Wollschläger on the Ulysses translation – it took him two solid years and I think he earnt the equivalent of 2000 DM per year. Not that I think money is everything – it’s just interesting.
Is writing quicker than translating?
Bloggers ponder. There’s definitely something in it. If a lawyer is writing on his special subject, he won’t have the terminology research to do that I will. Whatever the answer, the big problem is occasional clients thinking they can allow an author three weeks, and then a fourth, to prepare a brochure, and then get that translated in one week.