Big news this week! The initial two chapters of the novel have been approved by the publisher so I’m now officially a literary translator! I know, that was my reaction too😊 And it’s all thanks to Hester Velmans who recommended me. I must admit, I had to think about it for a bit. It’s much less anonymous than the other work I do. As they say in Dutch, ‘met je hoofd boven het maaiveld uitsteken’ which in English means something like ‘stand out among a crowd’. But the Dutch captures the trepidation better because it contains the threat of having your head cut off (because it’s sticking out) when the field is mown! Another Dutch saying is, and I translate: tall trees catch a lot of wind. The English equivalent might be ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall’. I’ve seen the kind of criticism made in public of literary translations so I’m wary. But on the other hand, I also often complain about the lack of reaction to translations I deliver. Upside, downside.
Last week I wrote about how much I enjoy the wide variety of texts I work on. That’s still true, but what a joy to work on a text in which every sentence has been crafted with care. Grown-up grammar and not a buzzword in sight!