czwartek, 24 października 2013

Tell me how you treat your translator and I will tell you what kind of person you are

I did not really plan to write a review but I need to share a few thoughts after reading Travels with Kapuściński. Stories of 14 translators ["Podróże z Ryszardem Kapuścińskim. Opowieści czternastu tłumaczy"]. 
So far, I've read a few books by Kapuściński, but I was always so caught up in his descriptions of people, places, cultures that I have never thought about the author.

And who knows the author better than his translators, right? This book contains 14 stories told by the translators about their work and their impressions on Kapuściński. Each story is a piece of the puzzle and together they create a portrait of a friendly, kind, smiling and shy man who despite his workload, always remembered to thank his translators for their effort and was even sincerely interested in their everyday problems. A man who was always curious, always fascinated by the world around him. A man who was well-known but still was humbly admitting his mistakes and was actually listening to a translator, patiently replying to his/her e-mails.
In fact, this is a book about a perfect author-translator relationship! I knew it was possible in real world!

There is more... The stories also remind us that sometimes we can read good books in our mother tongue only because a translator was persistent enough to persuade a publisher they were worth publishing. Maybe we should more often pay attention to the translator's name in fine print? If only for a second.

It's a good read, especially for the translators who lost faith in their clients. 

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