Saturday, December 27, 2008

three percent coincidence

Like I said, only three percent of books published in Britain are translations. What a coincidence, then, to discover that in the United States the figure is, wait for it, three percent. Coincidence or not, three percent is also the title of a very good blog here>> at the University of Rochester, which describes itself like this:

Three Percent launched in the summer of 2007 with the lofty goal of becoming a destination for readers, editors, and translators interested in finding out about modern and contemporary international literature.

The motivating force behind the website is the view that reading literature from other countries is vital to maintaining a vibrant book culture and to increasing the exchange of ideas among cultures. In this age of globalization, one of the best ways to preserve the uniqueness of cultures is through the translation and appreciation of international literary works.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the host

"Stephenie Meyer (née Morgan, born December 24, 1973) is the American author of the bestselling, young adult Twilight series, which revolves around the relationship between mortal Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen. The Twilight books have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, with translations into 37 different languages around the globe. A film adaptation of Twilight was released domestically on November 21, 2008. Meyer is also the author of the adult science-fiction novel, The Host [published 2008]."

Thus Wikipedia. As soon as Christmas present is Christmas past, I'll be getting underway translating The Host into Danish for Lindhardt & Ringhof in Copenhagen. All 619 pages of it. Publication is scheduled for October.

(Interesting fact: Danes may be interested to learn that it won't be called 'Hostet')

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


English novels are read all over the world, but publishers in English-speaking countries tend not to return the favour. Only three per cent of all books published in Britain are translated. As Christopher MacLehose – who for 21 years ran Harvill, Britain's pre-eminent publisher of translated fiction – once pointed out, that figure includes dentistry manuals, of course.

from this short article in The Times online edition yesterday

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Representations of representations. Across languages and across minds.

That's it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

down under again

For the second time, it seems I'll be appearing in the Australian Women's Weekly (actually a monthly, but who's counting). I've translated an interview journalist Tine Bendixen did recently with Denmark's Crown Princess Mary, who as everybody knows hails from Tasmania. The piece will be spread over a few pages, I imagine, with lots of nice photos. Published I think in the January, or perhaps February, edition. Just in case you want to order your copy now.


David Lodge (here>>) has written some very funny books. His three campus novels - Changing Places, Small World and Nice Work - are an incisive take on university manners. His new book, Deaf Sentence, about an emeritus professor declining into deafness and oblivion, came out recently to critical acclaim in the UK. I've translated an extract into Danish, which will be out soon in ForskerForum, the magazine of the Danish university teachers' association. Don't bother looking for it at your local newsstand.

interesting stuff

Talking about David Foster Wallace, there's some interesting stuff here>>