Reading in Translation

June 20, 2007 | 11 books mentioned 1

Tomorrow, as part of Scott’s month-long Reading the World series, I’ll have a review of Per Petterson’s In the Wake up at Conversational Reading. Reading the World is focused on “bringing international voices to the attention of readers,” and reading In the Wake and considering it as a “work in translation” rather than simply a novel got me thinking about how much non-English language reading I actually do. As it turns out, I don’t read many books that weren’t written in English. I don’t think this is necessarily a deficiency, but considering how much I’ve enjoyed the literature in translation that I’ve read, it seems I should seek these books out more often. Here are the books in translation I’ve read over the last few years (As you might expect, Ryszard Kapuscinski figures heavily.)

2003:

2004:

2005:

2006:

2007:

  • In the Wake by Per Petterson

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

One comment:

  1. Has anyone read Perfume by Patrick Suskind or any of Haruki Murakami's works? I just read South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami. It was a decent read but I was left wanting. I feel it was because its a translation. Can a translation ever be as good as the original? I wonder. Its like watching a movie with subtitles, you are caught between watching the movie and reading the subtitles. You are concentrating so much that you can never just go with the flow of the movie.

    My thoughts on the book: South of the Border, West of the Sun

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