A nice short piece by Ian Monk on the perils of translating your own writing:
…And what good company I was now in—I thought at once of one of my all-time favorites, Samuel Beckett, and how he had continued to write in both English and French, before self-translating his work one way or the other, as required. It was a dream come true. I got down to work…
And what a pain it turned out to be. The further I got stuck into the two texts in question, the more my translations seemed utterly limp and lifeless. And the more I worked over them, the more I felt like some kind of Dr. Frankenstein, with a monster on the slab which was staying stubbornly dead, no matter how many lightning flashes were aimed at its heart. I quickly came to the conclusion that my existence as a writer was never going to be like Beckett’s (for this reason, among a few others…) and if I went on writing in these two languages, then the job of translating them, one into the other, should preferably go to someone else.
(Via the indispensable wood s lot.)
There’s probably a limited audience for the Middle East and North Africa Special Area Collection of the Universitaets- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt in Halle, so I’ll tack it on here rather than making a separate post of it, but man, if you’re interested in old Arabic texts, Syriac dictionaries, and the like, check out the list of what’s available online! (Via bulbul’s Facebook post.)