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John Crowley. - the period of cosmography
John Crowley.
Entrevista mía con John Crowley.
Interview with John Crowley by me. It is in Spanish.


14 comments or Leave a comment
jackfirecat From: jackfirecat Date: April 13th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
A triumph! Thank you very much for posting this, I enjoyed reading it very much. And the photo's good too!

I too read Giles Goat Boy, and found it very readable, and it stays with me to this day (although my art of memory is not what it could be). (and Barthelme and Borges and Nabokov, and of course One Hundred Years of Solitude, the last which my crit of once impressed a girl enough that she went out with me as a consequence, but enough of me, and I haven't read Cheever*, and am interested that 'God Bless you Mr Rosewater' is Mr Crowley's favourite Vonnegut as I haven't read that either so a strong recommendation there, and now really enough of me.)

I read it via Google translation, which did a good job; occasional glitches but one could see the sense through them and mostly I was impressed at it handling of many or most sentences. 'Small, Large' cropped up a fair bit, but I knew what was meant.

*the only complete fail was translating Cheever's epithet - the "chronicler of eccentric novoingleses" it came up with. One could imagine 'novoingleses' as an English borrowing, the New English, with some connotation., but if so I'm not familiar with it.

anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 13th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn google translations!!!! It takes just a jiffy and does a pretty fair job as you say. Have you got an idea of how long it took me to transcribe and then translate the interview? I should have run it through google translations in the first place!
I'm very glad you enjoyed it!
jackfirecat From: jackfirecat Date: April 13th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
so, that 'novoingleses' was what in original?

>translate the interview? I should have run it through google translations in the first place!

Seriously, if the reverse is anything to go by, it would have given a good framework as something to then work on.
anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 14th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
That was New England eccentrics. For the transcription some recommended I use voice recognition software, but I didn't trust it, and to check sound against text wouldn't have been much faster than typing myself while listening. But when it came to translation there was no doubt I could do it and I never thought of how such a program could have saved me hours and hours of typing. It's a lesson to learn.
joculum From: joculum Date: April 14th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I, too, used Google Translate yesterday, and had no problem figuring out "eccentric New Englanders" for "eccentric novoingleses" (being familiar with the limits of translation programs' vocabularies) and was vastly amused by Mr Crowley's books The Summer of small St. John and Magna prolonged work time.
anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 14th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
What google translate got worst are the pronouns and articles. Most of the his and he should read you and your, otherwise I'm pretty amazed at how readable the results are.
joculum From: joculum Date: April 14th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was puzzled that Google's algorithm couldn't distinguish by the surrounding context between "his" and "he" vs "you" and "your." I suppose it is sometimes the most obvious linguistic discrepancies that are hardest to translate into algorithms...not being a mathematician, myself.
anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 14th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Part of the problem is that English does not distinguish between a formal (you and your) and an intimate second person (thou and thine) any more. Another is that in Spanish "su" is both second person formal and third person. I chose not to "thou" John Crowley in the translation, the Spanish "tu" would have probably clear enough for the robot. I suppose you are familiar with the issue from your experience with Germans. A common joke about the dumbness of the chancellor (whoever it is at the time of telling) hinges on their offering "you can say you to me" to their anglophone counterparts.
jackfirecat From: jackfirecat Date: April 14th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Summer of small St. John

d'oh me, I should have seen that for novoingleses. But at the risk of being thick again,

Has 'Engine Summer' being a play on 'Indian Summer' been translated with some other play on words/reference that makes sense in Spanish idiom? (all I have found so far is a desert, "The "Coca de Frutas de San Juan" is the traditional sweet prepared on the feast of St. John in June.")
anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 15th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Summer of small St. John

Actually, I've never read John Crowley in Spanish, I got the list of Spanish titles from him; almost all his work has been translated. But I don't think there's been another translation for "Injun Summer". I looked up "verano de San Juan" in Wikipedia and as I'd guessed "veranito de San Juan" (St. John's small summer) is what they call a short warm period in June in the southern hemisphere; June of course being winter down there. Now, Minotauro, who are the best publishers of sci-fi in the Spanish speaking world, are based in Buenos Aires, so to them "The summer of small St. John" is a wordplay based on a similar meteorological phenomenon. All things considered they didn't do a bad job with the title.
joculum From: joculum Date: April 15th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Summer of small St. John

Having gone through comparing a Nobel laureate's German translation of Gravity's Rainbow with passages in the original I considered impossible to translate (because the outrageous joke is totally based on an American idiom) I sympathize with the translator's difficulty in finding a comparable play on misheard words in Spanish. (The solution in Pynchon appears to have been, usually, to start from the comparable aphorism or cliché in German and make up action to fit.)

I had been thinking the Google algorithms should have been able to detect context more adequately for the ambiguous grammar in the interview (the grammar checker on my Word program is sometimes quite amazing in its capacity to decipher complex grammatical constructions) but I suppose it is the elementary ambiguities that are hardest to map in all their occurrences.
undyingking From: undyingking Date: April 14th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for conducting this interview! (I came here via jackfirecat.) Lots of interesting thoughts and responses.
anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 14th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your kind words, it's encouraging to see that interview touched on issues interesting not only to me.
terryminer From: terryminer Date: August 3rd, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
i can almost read this is Spanish! gracias, sra. peterson desde escuela secondario! but it's exhausting! already i learned more about jc's influences, among them some of my own favorites, than i'd known before. thank you.
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