Letter to Deo

Letter to Deo

Dear Team:

Yesterday the day was so crisp, cold and beautiful. One of those rare winter days when the sun comes out and everything seems to simply shimmer and glow. The San Fransisco skyline seemed to miraculously levitate. Today the rain has returned with a vengence. I have consulted with all my spiritual advisors and it's clear it's time to start delegating more authority.

Joanna has volunteered to organize the logistical aspects of the seminar in Poland whenever it happens. But now the actual schedule of events needs to be thought about. What is going to be discussed? My work? Translation theory? The history of literature? Cultural theory? All four? What will really attract the attention of the European media? Who would like to start thinking about this challenge?

Here is an old letter Deo wrote to me about the problems of translation itself. Another one follows in the next e-mail.

Also when the big money is available is there anybody who would like to parcel it out to everyone? Cecile, are you interested in this job? You've handled big amounts of monety before. Marilena, would you be interested in creating a web-link to the Harvest site in regards to the translation project? I can send you photos and text. Yes, it's time to delegate authority....

With luck Forty Immutable Parables will be published early next year. Then I can rest from paperback production. Even though there are plans for Harvest one, two, and four in the works. The same cover, but in different colors.

Anyway, here's Deo.


Hi Michael,

Don't stress. My views of translation are fairly close to yours. It is more important to me to capture feelings and convey those than a literal translation. However, there are always risks with any translation. The translator is after all a reader, and thus he will bring his own cultural baggage to his reading and thus to his translation. None of the translations will "really" be your work. They will be your work through the filter of the translator you pick and his interpretation of your thoughts in the target language. The main problem with Juan's translation is that now there are two filters, and that takes it a little further from you than one filter. There are definately three areas that stray a little too far from the English, and that change the meaning of the text, but I am sure that those can be fixed. Really all you need is a good editor.

As far as the Portuguese I said all I could say. Neither is perfect, but I would not start all over. Again I would have the final work edited. Actually, no matter how good and famous a translator is, if he/she is a real pro, they will always have their work edited, if nothing else for objectivety. Additionally, it is important to maintain open and close communication with your translators. Help them FEEL the text as you felt them, only that way can they transmit your feelings. If you and I could discover the secrets of translation we would became famous. Many have tried and I am not certain any one has fully acomplished it.

Once again, good luck


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