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BOOK NEWS FOR MARCH 6: THE SWORD IN THE STONE, TRANSLATING TRANSLATIONS AND MORE

by Dawn, March 6, 2010

TRANSLATING TRANSLATIONS

Source: Celine Kiernan at Orbit Books

This is a sincere hymn of praise to my wonderful German translator Astrid Finke. She has, at one stage or another, discussed all the following things with me (and many more) I’m unbelievably lucky to have found her.

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THE SWORD IN THE STONE: BETTER THAN NARNIA AND HARRY POTTER, T.H. WHITE’S CLASSIC IS ONE OF THE GREAT WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Source: Alex Remington at Huffington Post.com

It’s hard to overstate the Disney effect on modern storytelling. Their princess retellings of classic fairy tales and children’s literature, whether collected by oral folklorists like the Grimms or written by 19th century authors like Hans Christian Anderson or Robert Louis Stevenson, scrubbed most of the sex and violence and instead added a robust backbone of songs, dance, and happy endings. The movies are phenomenal, among the best films ever, but they’re so pervasive that they often supplant the original text in the public consciousness. In the case of The Sword in the Stone, a novel about the boy who would grow up to be King Arthur, that’s a shame — it’s one of the best children’s books ever written.

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PUTTING IT ON THE LINE, PUTTING HER MONEY WHERE HER MOUTH IS – AND SPEAKING UP/OUT

Source: Dr. Kirtland C. Peterson at Tor.com

I have a theory about why Margaret Atwood wrote Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood, and may—if certain rumors be true—be at work on a third novel in the series.

But first, let me address the hisses and catcalls from the back. Yes you, over there.

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I have a confession to make. Please, don’t judge me. But, it took me quite a bit of time to get into ‘The Sword in the Stone” by T.H White. I remember the way he wrote at first threw me for a loop, and ‘Wart’ just didn’t sit right with me. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself swept up in Wart and his journey and also in T.H White’s humour and writing style. I’ve actually found that with a few of my favourite books that I know I couldn’t survive without now – that it starts off not really drawing me in, then all of a sudden I’m almost in tears because the journey is done. So, I definitely agree that “The Sword in the Stone” is an epic must read.

I also love this idea of translators and writer’s working together. The amount of times I’ve read things and worried (or noticed, even) how much could be ‘lost in translation’ is amazing.

I also really liked the article on Margaret Atwood, and the call for writers to just tell a story – sometimes I feel that people do get a little too wrapped up in writing for others, rather than writing to tell a story.

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