Book review: Glory by Vladimir Nabokov, 1932

This semi-autobiographical early novel was written in the early 1930’s, but only translated into English in 1971, when Nabokov’s reputation as an author was secure. It did little to enhance it. ‘Glory’ follows the childhood and early life of Nabokov’s romantic protagonist, Martin Edelweiss, who escapes from the bloodshed of revolutionary Russia.to Switzerland and thenceContinue reading “Book review: Glory by Vladimir Nabokov, 1932”

Book review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Translated from the Japanese by Alfred Birnbaum In my notes on “The Shadow of the Wind” I was harsh, some might say brutally so, towards the translator. So I wanted to open this review by tipping my hat to Alfred Birnbaum. This must have been a fantastically difficult novel to translate. I’ll come to whyContinue reading “Book review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami”

Supplementary: The Shadow of the Wind (2) – a note about some translation issues.

  Occasionally when reading this novel I came across a few phrases that jarred, and sounded unnatural. I appreciate that translating is a very difficult process, capturing not just the sense of the original but the poetry, the complexity, and the idiomatic phrasing. I also recognise that any awkwardness of phrasing could be deliberate, toContinue reading “Supplementary: The Shadow of the Wind (2) – a note about some translation issues.”

Book review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruix Zafon, translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves

This is one of the novels included in the Eton headmaster’s list I wrote about earlier this month. Let’s start with the nonsensical title, which sets the tone for the rest of the novel. The wind does not have a shadow. Perhaps I am being overly literal, or perhaps that is the point – theContinue reading “Book review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruix Zafon, translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves”