Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Free at last!

My car, that is.

The snow is mostly gone, thanks both to warm temperatures and those humongous machines. I was finally able to get my car free yesterday evening. It's now resting in the driveway, looking weary.

The Spanish group is beginning to gather downstairs. Incomprehensible phrases are drifting up to my study. It's time to remove my hearing aids.

Chris asked in a comment about translations of my books.

My first novel, The Children of Shiny Mountain, was translated into German and Italian. It was strange and exciting when copies of those editions arrived in the mail.

The only other novels that were translated where the Star Trek ones. The Captains' Honor had a Hebrew edition. When that one arrived in the mail, Leonore thought it was a Klingon translation. Before that, I hadn't thought of the slight similarity between the Klingon alphabet and the Hebrew one. I wonder if that's coincidence? I can still read Hebrew well enough to make out my name and Daniel's name, as the authors, and also to be able to tell that they translated the title correctly: as Captains', not Captain's. References to the book in the U.S. often use the singular possessive for some reason. Makes me wanna go all Klingon on them.

Leonore read the German edition of my first novel and said it was an excellent translation -- even better in places than my original. Gasp!


Chris said...

That's fantastic!

It must be odd, seeing your own words translated, but I imagine it could be a fantastic learning tool as well. As a student, I spent a month in a small town in Germany, and I think I never picked up quite so much in one fell swoop as when I watched the German translation of Star Wars...

Chris said...

Which is, of course, to say I'm intimately familiar with it (in English, at least) and therefore managed to glean a fair bit from the translation. I realized immediately after posting that it may have sounded like I was claiming Star Wars as my own. Unclear writing -- the perils of the pre-coffee comment.

David said...

Mr. Lucas! I'm delighted that you're posting on my humble blog. Say, I have some nifty sf novels for which screen rights are exceedingly available . . .

Oh. Nevvver mind.

This should arouse some nostalgia:

Have you been back to Germany? It's been six years since we were there, and I'm eager to go back. We were originally planning to go at the end of this coming summer, but we've had to delay that for another year.

Chris said...

That poster is fantastic (and, clearly, as a Star Wars geek, the finest of the franchise)! The price tag's a little steep, which is a shame. I'd love to have me one of those. Something about those umlauts really works...

I haven't been back to Germany since I went as an exchange student, though I plan to. My wife studied French, and still speaks it passably well; I think our ideal vacation would be quite similar to your own recent trip. Though I traveled a fair bit through the country, I was primarily in a small town called Dillenburg. While I was there, they were celebrating 650 years of townhood. Remarkable.

Chris said...

Eastern U.S. beers are insipid, are they? (Yes, I read your Germany essay.) Clearly you've never ventured to the great state of Maine, home of Geary's, Allagash, Gritty McDuff's, and a host of other such lovely brews they'd have you forsaking your mountain lair for a cottage with an ocean view.

The thing that struck me most about Germany was how little it resembles the American stereotype of Germany. The people are warm and friendly, the food superb, the countryside stunning. I look forward to going back.

David said...

I'd love the chance to educate myself about local East Coast brews, although the cottage with an ocean view that I daydream about is in British Columbia, so the mountains are still there. And the cottage in my daydreams is rather large, for a cottage.

We're hoping to visit some of Leonore's old college friends in the East, so maybe I'll get a chance at eastern beers then.

North Germans I found to be a bit reserved, but that was okay with me because I was brought up around reserved, Nothern European types. In the south, the Germans seemed mroe garrulous and open.

The age of everything in Europe amazed and delighted me. Here in Denver, anything that dates to before 1900 is ooooold. We stand around and stare at such buildings. "Wow! That's so ooooold!" I imagine that tramping around some buildings in the Middle East would really be stunning.