I haven’t had a working ceiling light in my living room for nearly two weeks now, since I hadn’t really cleared it up enough to let an electrician in (I live above an electrician’s shop) and there were other minor distractions. The wiring is old and there was a flash followed by darkness when a bulb blew. Last week, the ceiling light in my office went too, or rather the light switch did. Today I had an electrician up and discovered that the small fuse container in the switch was slightly displaced here, so it just needed pushing in, and the large German fuse for the living room looked deceptively dead but was actually half-in, so it too just needed pushing in properly.
(It’s rather good that Germans have huge fuses that you can just push back in, rather than having to dismantle a plug)
So I recognized this description:
That woman is Meike Urbanski though, his German translator. And let me tell you, her character is brilliantly drawn. I happen to know a couple of translators, and they’re an odd breed. Nit-pickers, know-it-alls, socially incompetent, permanently broke, and incapable of performing the simplest of domestic tasks. Meike is all this and more: she’s also obsessed with Henry LaMarck’s writing and spots even the tiniest logical or factual mistake as she translates it. And of course when the manuscript isn’t forthcoming she fears for her income and jumps on a plane, convinced she can find the author in Chicago.
(Katy Derbyshire at love german books, on Kristof Magnusson, Das war ich nicht)