Sunday, November 9, 2008

TSS Week 22

I haven't read Poe since junior high and so I decided to read his "best" short stories in keeping with my eerie October reads. Overall, I loved the collection. I was able to see just why Poe is such an icon. His work was chilling, but not graphic or scary enough to keep me, a total wuss, from reading it. My favorites were "The Black Cat" and "The Masque of the Red Death."

I found Rispondimi in the library by accident while looking at the novels of Amy Tan (Tamaro was close to Tan :). I noticed the title in Italian and picked it up. I'm so glad I did because it was fantastic!

Rispondimi contains three short novellas about desperation. The stories are sad but the writing itself is beautiful and real. I did not come away from the book depressed as you might think. It is a useful, touching portrait of human weakness, struggle and regret.

I have to complain about the translation job. I was about to say that a native English speaker should have translated this work, until I saw the John Cullen is from New Orleans! Overall the translation didn't hinder the power of the stories, but it was done poorly. Example: Translating "coming of age" or "turning eighteen" as "I couldn't wait to reach my majority." I am aware of the literal translation that would lead to this but an English speaker should know better.

All in all, highly recommended!


stu said...

Translation's always fun. Or, at least, it can go horribly wrong, which is almost the same thing.

Joanne said...

I haven't read any Poe in years, thanks for reminding us how good he is.