February 2nd, 2011 / 9:52 pm

Four Brief Notes of Varying Significance

If you’re interested in antique printing, there’s a whole plant for sale in Boston.

I love stand up comedy so I really enjoyed this profile of comedian Greg Giraldo and his untimely passing in The Awl.

Mima Simić writes a disturbing account of how her work was edited, without her approval, for Best European Fiction 2011, by an editor at Dalkey Archive. One of the edits assigned a gender to the narrator when the gender ambiguity was a deliberate authorial choice. It’s not a good situation.

Vida released a count for how women writers are represented across several publications great and small during 2010. Meghan O’Rourke responds at Slate. The numbers are not surprising. The issue is, of course, more complex than mere statistics but statistics are always a good place to start. I find the numbers disheartening.  Actually, I think it’s fucked up. I do. I understand if you don’t and why. We’ve had this conversation already but I thought I would share the latest numbers.

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  1. letters journal
  2. alex

      Dalkey fucked up

  3. Roxane

      I did not know about this, or the Wu MIng collective. Thanks for the link.

  4. letters journal

      Wu Ming are sweet.

      They wrote their first novel ‘Q’ under the name Luther Blissett. It’s about 16th century Anabaptist revolts and the Reformation, told as allegory for the 20th Century. Two other Wu Ming novels are in English – ’54’ and ‘Manituana’, which was published last year by Verso. They have a bunch more in Italian. They are a collective of novel writing Italian communists, but they’re very popular in Italy. Their first two books in English were published by Harcourt (?!). One of them in the collective is the Italian translator of a new Stephen King novel.

      All of these things are crazy to me. Can you imagine a leftist novel writing collective becoming popular here?

      They also refuse to have their pictures taken or to appear on television.

  5. deadgod

      The “edits” Dalkey imposed on Simic’s text are not only unethical – twice; she was also the translator – , they’re also defective edits.

      Here’s an example of what I mean: an “original” translation of a clause:

      , a matter too inappropriate to discuss.

      The “edit”:

      – it would be too delicate to bring it up.

      The “edited” version is not accurate English.

      The second “it” must refer to (what Simic translates as) the “matter”.

      The subject of the clause can’t be an impersonal ‘it’ (like: ‘it’s a nice day’), because “it” has to be something “delicate”. That first “it” must refer directly to the “delicate” matter, and should not be repeated as the object of the infinitive verb:

      ‘- it would be too delicate to bring up,’

      That first “it” can’t refer to ‘bringing it up’ – ‘it [bringing it up] would be too delicate for anyone to bring it up’, say – , because ‘bringing it up’ is not “delicate” at all: the “delicate” thing is what would be brought up, not ‘bringing it up’.

      [‘It’s too hard to walk to China.’ is accurate English, because ‘walking to China’ is the “hard” thing. ‘It’s too far to walk to China.’ is only accurate if the “it” refers – somehow – to distance (that is, to something that can be “far”), and not to ‘walking to China’, which action doesn’t admit of length.]

      As Simic points out, all the “edits” she displays are written poorly. Was the “edit”or incompetent (as well as unethical), or did Dalkey receive the original-original Croatian text and give that to a translator who knows English less well than Simic?

  6. M:F ratio at the Atlantic, Boston Review, Granta and others | The Placeholder

      […] HTMLGIANT, which I’m sure is seconds away from erupting into another round of HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT […]

  7. Erlewienie

      SUPERB piece on Giraldo, and a “new” website for me to peruse. Thanks…Roxane.