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June 2011

Summer translating is the best

Phone (1)
So, I've been sitting on my balcony translating away some Klein for the past few weeks and I have been loving it. There is no small feat of strategizing involved as the kids, the impending end of school, work and a plethora of details (like laundry, for example) keep coming up. I do my best to promptly attend to them (cough, cough) and then book myself whole days of balcony translating.

I have found a "stream-of-translating" kind of approach to translating these poems works rather well. I always have a photocopy of the original poem so that I can whip it around the work surface (way easier than the 1000-page compilation whence it comes!). Then the ever-present pen and paper for any sort of note-taking to compensate for my faltering memory. Of course, the word processor open and ready to take in the translation and the Web browser opened to a selection of dictionaries that I find helpful for this work in particular.

I am translating A.M. Klein into French... think Shakespeare, anglo-norman roots and the whole shebang. For this, I love, absolutely LOVE, the OED. The etymology of words is the best and often I can pick up a French version of the word directly form there. When all else fails, I jot back and forth from the OED to the Petit Robert. I want to have access to the Grand Robert... working on that presently. Then I also have a rhyming dictionary handy - I like the BaRBeRy because you can manipulate it to obtain the type of rhyme needed. And of course, I could not do without the CRISCO! This one is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So, all the chosen poems have been translated. I'm in the tweaking phase right now. But I have one major problem on my hands... they do not fit the blabla édulcoré I spewed out about them earlier this spring. Argh.

They were supposed to fit in as the "forgotten" poems of the Rocking Chair collection. A couple of them do, but that's the issue, just a couple of them. So I have to figure out how to deal with this. I love translating Klein's poetry and I would not see it d'un mauvais oeil if I had to translate some more of it. Especially the poems about himself and his natures mortes. 

I'm going to have to think about this some more... à suivre.