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CHAT: This and that

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  • Melvyn Clarke
    Irena - interesting - I was thinking of a quote from an article by a Slovak writer that I noted down a few years ago on usage of the Slovak language
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 1999
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      Irena - interesting - I was thinking of a quote from an article by a Slovak
      writer that I noted
      down a few years ago on usage of the Slovak language (unfortunately I only
      jotted down his
      name as "Ch", which doesn't help much). He talks about the lexis more than
      the grammar, I
      "The difference between spoken and written language is quite big. More than
      we think, we
      are influenced by normatives. We're not relaxed and we're afraid to put onto
      something we would easily say out aloud. The emply phraseology of the
      Communists still
      exercises some influence."

      Perhaps this is an outdated viewpoint or just plain wrong. I am not
      qualified to judge.

      Hi Martin, welcome to the list:

      >The most efficient method for disseminating anything is always personal
      reference. If you send a message to a dozen of your translator friends,
      if half of them do the same....

      Point taken everybody??

      >I started with SF books some
      years ago - much more fun,

      Ooooh, which books have you translated? Place-names and personal names must
      _really_ awkward.

      >and you are constantly at risk of never getting paid at all when your
      publisher disappears.

      Yes, the whole book-publishing industry seems very risky here.
      Talking of books - your question about a cracking good read, Paul, is one
      that I frequently
      put to my students, but I very often draw a blank when it comes to modern
      works. Likewise,
      when I ask my Hana, who knows her onions about Czech literature, to
      something modern, she just turns up her nose. A lot of people seemed to
      enjoy the early
      work of Viewegh and some recommend Iva Pekarkova who
      spent some time making a living as a taxi-driver in New York, but I can't
      get into any of it.
      Sorry. What I do enjoy doing, is taking a well-translated work like Klima's
      "Love and
      Garbage" or Hrabal's "I Served the King of England" and comparing my
      translations of a few
      pages with those of the masters. It's funny what huge gaps and additions you

      But why go for modern authors? I reckon there are some terribly
      underestimated writers from
      before the war whom an anglophone readership would welcome: Ladislav Klima
      with his
      combination of bizarre eroticism (he claimed to have invented thirty
      perversions) and radical
      solipsistic philosophy is the stuff that cults are made of, or the
      "decadent" Karasek ze Lvovic
      (Posvatne Ohne) or Julius Zeyer (Dum U Tonouci Hvezdy) or the little known
      Marten (Cyklus rozkose a smrti) for rich language redolent of langorous
      sensuality and
      intimations of powerful dark forces lurking in the human psyche. Is this
      what you mean by a
      cracking good read? Hmmm maybe not :)

      Methods of divination, Alastair? Has anybody rated them for efficiency and
      if so, did Alta
      Vista rank in the first fifty? BTW for those interested in cybermancy, I
      definitely recommend
      Google as my number-one search engine, at least for subjects where you don't
      have to really
      scrape the barrel to find anything, in which case I go to dogpile.com or -
      sigh - Alta Vista.
      The advantage of Google is that your key-words appear in the couple of lines
      of text it
      produces for each hit - very often saves you having to open the page in

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