Posts Tagged With: translation

Earned Break: Re-release of Witcher books


Making sure the new translation is good.

So far – it’s good.

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George Sand – The Devil’s Pool

LaMareAuDiable  You’ll have to forgive me, but the book “The Devil’s Pool” by George Sand (La Mare Au Diable; Goodreads) was so boring that I couldn’t get through it any faster than this. There were days when I couldn’t even open it, my mind just refused to submit. It’s well written, well translated and so on, merely no where near my cup of tea.

I’ve read a translation to Lithuanian, so I’m not quite sure what are the names in English. Germaine seems to be our main protagonist, a fairly rich widower who loved his wife and loves his children. His parents in law, yet, push him to go to this other village and marry his father’s-in-law friend’s daughter, who is also rich and a widow, and since they were so kind to him – he agrees to do his best. Before leaving tho this old poor woman asks whether he could take her 16 year old daughter with him (he’s 28 and considered old), since she found a shepherds work in a village nearby the one he’s going to. On their way they find his son in the woods, hysterically begging to come with his father and there you have it, the perfect trio. Marie turns out to be the perfect little girl and Germaine soon falls head over heels for her. Yet she claims he’s too old for her and she doesn’t love him. Besides, he has made a promise to his parents-in-law and should honor it. Who knows, the widow might be even better woman than Marie.

The book ends with the longest description of the wedding ceremony. I powered through it and must say – I cannot give it any more than 2 out of 5. And I dearly hope the next book at last gives me something better, for I just can’t anymore. Mind you, the book is not bad by itself. Just not for me.

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Gabriel Loidolt – Yakuza

20257496  This would be the second book in my life that has a female heroine in it, who goes through hell and marks her new life page with a giant tattoo. Both of those books had word “yakuza” in it, yet in this one it seems to be a very minor thing, used more to catch the eye, rather than represent something on the inside of the book. So, Gabriel Loidolt book “Yakuza” is per se a good book with meh title. A very short one, easy to finish in one sitting. And is a very good book too, yet to tell you why would be difficult.
Being a white Caucasian man in Japan can be both a blessing and a curse. Our hero of the book is studying art of irezumi’s from a great master who seems to hate him one day, and love him the other. On the streets he is both a beauty with his blond hair and blue eyes, an an alien at the same time. And so, even being as skilled as he is, eventually he still ends up in enough danger to pack up his bags and leave Japan with a permanently scarred face. He left Japan with a promise to never return. A promise he gave to yakuzas…
Being a master iredzumi artist in Japan might mean nothing in Japan itself, who has its own masters, but outside of it – it gives great weight to your name. Still, he had to adjust. His specialization afteral is the traditional irezumis, even if he doesn’t deny the gun-punctured tattoos. Traditional ones are preferable, but are made with little sheets of needles and people feel intimidated by needles they can so clearly see. And you can’t sit on your client in the Western World, it would be misunderstood in a heartbeat, thus he has to bend his back over the chair. He even had mirrors installed for clients who wished to see the work he done, collected a great collection of possible, usually famous paintings used for tattoos and became fairly skilled to pass on information subtly, to avoid clients asking something what would later on be perceived as a mistake. And, since silence is not valued in Western World whatsoever, he has some music, sounds gathered. This is important, for one day, in his leisure time, a woman from Siberia walks up to him, bearing a check for a wast sum and one third of an irezumi she wishes to have on her back. Bit by bit in silent hours of work they start breaking their own unintentional vows of silence and start dragging each other’s tragedies out onto the surface, for neither wants to speak of their own.
I like that same tragedy here is given from two different possible ways. Even thought we live in a world with two genders as a basic minimum, people often forget that same nasty thing, a beating, a rape, abuse, etc. can just as well happen to a man, even if we hear of women suffering it far more often. And this is what I loved about this book so much, for these two heroes both went through so very similar scripts that I am more than happy to own the book now. I can forgive our editors for making poor job out of interpreters definitely decent work. I can forgive the author or also the editors, who chose the name “yakuza” rather than “irezumi” or whatever other common Japanese word they might have used inside the pages. And I will forgive it all and give the book 5 out of 5. And since it is a very short book, something that is worth half a day, a day at best, I will also dare to recommend it. If not for the story, then for the mighty sentence of “Japan doesn’t need God, God needs Japan”. Believe it or not, it fit so great. I can just hope I get to see that beautiful and so very different land one day.

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