DWJ in Israeli newspaper

Joe Nankivell Joe.Nankivell at ucd.ie
Sat Feb 14 06:30:46 EST 2004

On 13 Feb 2004, at 11:53, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:

> I find it hard to believe that no one responded to this. Is there a problem
> with the list, or am I not getting messages again?

I wanted to respond immediately, because it sparked a powerful emotional response in me.
I've calmed down a bit now. It's mostly to do with your note at the 


"of course we'll
> translate that too, someday". I can't even begin to say how much I want to
> translate that book, and I have absolutely no confidence that they'll even
> remember to approach me, when the times come. Or else I'll be busy doing the
> next Potter or the next Jaqueline Wilson, or else they'll only offer me an
> embarassingly small fee like they did for "His Dark Materials", which maybe
> I should have taken anyway but I didn't because it was equivalent to paying
> them for the privilege to work. Aargh. I hate having so little control over
> what projects I can take on. Moan moan moan whine whine whine.

This isn't a moan or a whine! It's totally legitimate! I'm amazed how 
translators can even continue to work in the face of this contempt 
and ingratitude: as far as I can tell you're the unsung heroes of the 
publishing world. Only noticed when people want to complain about 
what a 'poor' job you've done. All credit for zappy style given to the 
author of the source text; all criticism levelled at you. (That must 
be particularly bad for people who translate from English, since so 
many readers have some notion of the source language). And paid 
in peanuts too! 

Tove Jansson's my hero. Now you've got me wondering whether the 
people who gave me access to her world had to pay the publisher 
for the privilege. And what I can do about it...


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