Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Seeking solace, I have been daydreaming about my ideal job. So here it is: I'd like to be the person who commissions translations in a fantasy publishing house where money is no object. Obviously I'd only do that half the time; the rest of my time would still be spent translating fabulous books from German. And travelling around in my chauffeur-driven Sunbeam Alpine (see above). Well-paid staff would do the other, more gruelling parts of the publishing work: accounting, editing, production, publicity, distribution...
My translator friends would come to me with impeccable recommendations for books to publish, and I would say yes, of course, if you love the book then it must be wonderful. Let's do it. And critics will snatch them out of our hands and fight over who gets to review them. But there'd be no need to argue because it's fine to have several reviews of any particular book, even in one publication, each pointing out in a supportive manner what delightful aspects the previous reviewer couldn't find room to mention. Although probably column inches wouldn't be an issue in the first place.
My first list, on the German side of things, would consist of the following titles:
Heike Geißler: Saisonarbeit/Season's Greetings from Fulfillment
Carolin Emcke: Gegen den Hass/Against Hate
Julya Rabinowich: Krötenliebe/Toads and Tempest
Antje Rávic Strubel: In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens/Into the Woods of the Human Heart
Senthuran Varatharajah: Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen/Before the Signs Mount Up
Rasha Khayat: Weil wir längst woanders sind/Because We're Elsewhere Now
Finn-Ole Heinrich: Die erstaunlichen Abenteuer der Maulina Schmitt/The Amazing and Astonishing Adventures of Maulina Schmitt
Kirsten Fuchs: Mädchenmeute/Girl Gang
I might be too busy being driven onto beaches to do all the translations myself. If you have unlimited funds and would like to give me a part-time job doing exactly this, feel free to contact me. I understand if you'd rather invest your unlimited funds in getting rid of reactionary world leaders, though, so if I don't hear from you I'll know that's where your priorities lie. That's fine.