Showing posts with label literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label literature. Show all posts

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

What to read on holiday


Are you planning a holiday? Do you usually take books with you? Choosing a book to read on holiday can be tricky; that's why I thought of writing a post about it. Maybe you'll find these tips helpful.

FOR A LONG-HOUR JOURNEY I would suggest a page turner, for example a detective story or a family saga. The latest mystery best seller is a very wise choice. It will keep you company and make your journey much more interesting.

FOR A QUIET HOLIDAY I would suggest a slow-paced, reflective book which will help you slow down and appreciate the little details of life. In this case, a classic is the best choice.

FOR A HOLIDAY IN A FAMOUS CITY I would suggest a novel that is taking place in this very city. It will give you a special feeling of the place that will stay with you forever.

FOR A STAYCATION I would suggest a huge biography or a historical book or novel that you have always wanted to read but didn't get round to. Being on holiday at home will enable you to look up things about the book much easier.

TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR JOB I would suggest reading a popular science book on your profession. While on holiday, sometimes we feel estranged from our professions. That’s why, I think, reading such a book can help us look at our jobs with the eyes of a newcomer.

Be careful: while a sad book can certainly ruin your mood and your holiday, a super-interesting novel can monopolise your attention and alienate you from your trip. Choose wisely!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your trip! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Translating the translated



During the process of translating a literary work, it is possible that we come across a bit of text which does not belong to the work as it is.

We may meet epigraphs, for example. Epigraphs are short quotations which have been put at the beginning of chapters, and which belong to another work. Even though they (may) appear in the same language as the literary work, it is likely that they are translations themselves, translated from another language.

So, what can be done in this case? 



Some translators translate roughly from the translated and think that this is okay.

It is not.

This bit is not equivalent to the rest of the text.

This bit belongs to another literary work, and we have to deal with it as such.

First we have to do some research in order to identify the work from which it has been taken.

For example, this bit could be an extract from the Bible.

In this case, we have to go to the Bible’s official translation, find the relevant bit, and insert it into the target text. In order to avoid endless translator’s notes that may disrupt the reader, we can cite the source in the work’s introduction.

Or, this bit could be an extract from a classic work such as the Iliad. In this case, we can use any published translation we think that fits the style of the text we are translating. Again, in order to avoid endless translator’s notes we can cite the source in the work’s introduction.

Bear in mind that it won’t be such a good idea to try your hand at translating this bit yourself!

When we translate a work from a language into another, such problems come up very often. So, since translation demands from us to re-create the work into another language, before getting down to the actual translation work it is imperative that we 'unlock' the source text. Keep in mind that processes such as literary allusion and intertextuality can transfer significant tension from the source text to the target text. Therefore we must be ready to move between texts the way we move between languages, keeping at the same time our eyes open in order to avoid traps as the above.

Have you ever met a bit of text that was itself a translation? What did you do?

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Quotes about writing



I found some very nice quotes that can give us inspiration to write, especially in the days it gets very difficult. I would like to share with you the ones I think are true for me:


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 
― Maya Angelou
It is important to be who you want to be, in this case a writer. It is pointless to try to become anything else.


“A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” 
― Maya Angelou
Sometimes there’s no need to hear the answers. You need only to feel that people share with you the same questions.


“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 
― Stephen King
All writers had a passion for reading. 


“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” 
― Jack Kerouac
No universal truths were verbose.


“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” 
― Anton Chekhov
Don’t be analytical in your writing; you have to show, not to tell!


“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” 
― Henry David Thoreau
But many people have been inside their homes all their lives, yet have written great novels. It depends. Nevertheless, I like this quote.


“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing
Again, don’t be verbose in your writing. 


“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” 
― Stephen King


“Always be a poet, even in prose.” 
― Charles Baudelaire
In this case, writing will never be boring.


“One always has a better book in one's mind than one can manage to get onto paper.” 
― Michael Cunningham


“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” 
― Jack London


“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” 
― Anaïs Nin
Many times when reading a novel I have realised that the writer has shaped many of my thoughts into words.


“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing
In other words, don’t over-analyse. Readers want you to be subtle, and to let them finish the job.


“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” 
― Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Everything is fiction


At  some point in my life, someone told me that everything in life is sales. I do not agree.

Everything is fiction.

Everything is fiction because our lives are much affected by fiction. Or better, because the way we perceive our lives has everything to do with fiction.

I mean, the stories we heard in childhood have created templates in our minds. And when we miss some of the facts in a situation, these templates help us fill these gaps. For instance, this happens when we look upon a situation and we try to impose a plot on it. And why is that?

Because we have got used to look at situations the way we look at stories.

But most of the times we forget that there may not be any underlying plot, and so we read more into the situation than there really is. This can lead to terrible misunderstandings and confusion.

A case in point: imagine a very beautiful girl, and her stepmother. The stepmother does not like the girl. What is happening in your mind when I tell you this story? Do you imagine a wicked stepmother that tries to emulate, belittle, and even kill the girl? If I mention to you that a horrible accident has happened, which thoughts come first to your mind? That the girl is the villain, or the other way round?

Now try to remember moments in your life when your thoughts were shaped by means of the stories you know. Did you read more into the situation than there really was? Did you use knowledge from stories in order to fill the gaps?

Stories are stories. Nothing more. Sometimes they help us understand things, sometimes they don’t. Some stories were created a long time ago, but now things have changed. Women do not wait for the Prince Charming. Or does society expect them to do so?

Do you follow any stories without realising it? Do they shape your mind for you?

Why not choose which stories we’ve got to keep, and which stories we should give up?

And then create new stories. Stories in which we are winners, we are creative, we are the best we can be.