Currently viewing the category: "the art of translation"

I have been sorely lacking on the “post stuff at North of Onhava” front lately. I don’t even have a good excuse, like “I lost my left arm in an axe-throwing contest.” That would be a good excuse because I’m left-handed.

Anyway, here’s a couple of things. My friend Patrick Wensink has released or is about to release a brilliantly weird novel called Broken Piano For President through the brilliantly weird Lazy Fascist press. As part of the tiresome business of promotion, Patrick has created a website where you can find out lots more about his book. He’s also spent some time soliciting drinking stories from his friends because the protagonist of BPFP is apparently a black-out drunk. I’d just like to go on record that I am not and have only once in my life ever been a black-out drunk. But I do have my share of drinking stories, because I used to be a professional drinker. Patrick was kind of enough to post one of those stories on his site here.

Also, I received in the mail today several copies of the just-published Italian edition of my novel The Failure. A bad photograph of which you can find above. If you’re Italian, or from Italy, or just happen for some weird reason to be able to read Italian, by all means order directly from the publisher Quarup, or if you’re actually in Italy maybe you could go to a bookstore. Not the one in the Vatican. They probably don’t have this. Is there an Amazon Italy? I’m not sure I really want to know. In scouring the internet for the link to my Italian publisher, I also stumbled across what appears to be a review. You can read it, or maybe for fun run it through Google translate, here.

By writing the first translation into English of the Bible, from original Hebrew and Greek sources, William Tyndale essentially invented the English language in the period 1525-1530 or so. For his efforts, he was strangled and then burned at the stake by the Catholic Church as a heretic. The “authorized” King James Version, published in 1611, despite the work of 56 independent translators, relies heavily on Tyndale’s version. The King James Version New Testament is 83.7 percent Tyndale’s work, with the KJV Old Testament 75.7 percent Tyndale’s.

Phrases first appearing in Tyndale’s Bible:

* lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
* knock and it shall be opened undo you
* twinkling of an eye
* a moment in time
* fashion not yourselves to the world
* seek and you shall find
* ask and it shall be given you
* judge not that you not be judged
* the word of God which liveth and lasteth forever
* let there be light
* the powers that be
* my brother’s keeper
* the salt of the earth
* a law unto themselves
* filthy lucre
* it came to pass
* gave up the ghost
* the signs of the times
* the spirit is willing
* live and move and have our being
* fight the good fight

Here’s a very short sample of his original translation: a fragment of The Story of the Prophet Jonas.

But the lord prepared a great fish, to swallow up Jonas. And so was Jonas in the bowels of the fish three days and three nights. And Jonas prayed unto the lord his god out of the bowels of the fish.

And he said: in my tribulation I called unto the lord, and he answered me: out of the belly of hell I cried, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me down deep in the midst of the sea: and the flood compassed me about: and all thy waves and rolls of water went over me: and I thought that I had been cast away out of thy sight. But I will yet again look toward thy holy temple. The water compassed me even unto the very soul of me: the deep lay about me: and the weeds were wrapped about mine head. And I went down unto the bottom of the hills, and was barred in with earth on every side for ever. And yet thou lord my God broughtest up my life again out of corruption. When my soul fainted in me, I thought on the lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, even into thy holy temple. They that observe vain vanities, have forsaken him that was merciful unto them. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving, and will pay that that I have vowed, that saving cometh of the lord.