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Finnegans Wake in Chinese
Posted: 07 February 2013 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I was wondering the same thing. ;)

Also, FWIW, I am not convinced that “cockroach” is a superior choice to “vermin”, the word traditionally used to describe what Gregor was turned into.  Not only is “vermin” closer to the original German term (at least, AFAIK), I think the ambiguity was entirely intentional on Kafka’s part, and wouldn’t dispense with it lightly.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I think the point, although Rourke isn’t entirely clear and my Prague German dialect from a hundred years ago is a bit rusty, is that ungeziefer, while literally meaning “vermin,” was used to refer specifically to cockroaches. So Kafka wasn’t being ambiguous about the type of insect Gregor turns into. Personally, I prefer vermin too, but that’s based on my familiarity with the traditional opening and my preferred reading of the text, not on what Kafka actually wrote.

When it comes to literary translations, you really should consider them to be works that stand on their own. It is impossible to convey the exact subtleties, tone, register, prosody, and style of the original when translating, at least not in the exact same places as the original. Wordplay and polysemy are almost always lost. A translator can substitute, using wordplay in a different passage for example, to mimic the style of the original, but the result is a new work, not a version of the original.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Personally, I prefer vermin too, but that’s based on my familiarity with the traditional opening and my preferred reading of the text, not on what Kafka actually wrote.

Here is a detailed response to the Rourke piece from Transblawg (she used to appear here pretty often in days gone by). She says that this article set off her BS detector. But her response is erudite (as always).

edit: Lee Rourke has a snotty response and Margaret then responds to him.

[ Edited: 08 February 2013 08:20 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 08 February 2013 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I bet they have no problem with the lack of apostrophe in the Chinese version of FW.

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Posted: 08 February 2013 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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So it’s not a command? “Finnegans, wake!”

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Posted: 10 February 2013 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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And Howards End is a house.

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Posted: 15 February 2013 03:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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venomousbede - 10 February 2013 11:01 AM

And Howards End is a house.

But Howard’s End is a hairdressing salon.

Howards End in the eponymous novel was based on a real house called Rooks Nest, similarly without apostrophe, which at the time Forster knew it, was in the countryside to the east of what was then the small market town of Stevenage. Today Stevenage (where I grew up) has expanded almost to the doorstep of Rooks Nest House. Meanwhile hairdresser Ron Howard, clearly a Forster fan, has given Stevenage its second enterprise named for a classic English novel (after the Our Mutual Friend pub, which I’m sure I must have mentioned here before). George Orwell lived just outside Stevenage (and not too far from Rooks Nest) for several years - perhaps I should go back and open a florist’s shop called Keep The Aspidistra Flying.

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Posted: 15 February 2013 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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... or an Emergency Resuscitation Unit called “Homage to Catatonia”

(edited to sharpen the point)

[ Edited: 15 February 2013 02:48 PM by lionello ]
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