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Penguins, Kindle-ing and translation

January 8, 2009 |  8:39 am


Penguin Classics started out with the iconic, plain style above -- so iconic that for their 70th anniversary a few years ago they created a line of ceramic mugs. (Anybody know if they're for sale in the U.S.?) A decade or so in, the covers got more varied. There's a huge Flickr set that may include every single cover they've done; some of my favorites are from the late 1950s and early 60s, when midcentury design met jittery collage.

But if you don't care much about book design, you're probably ready to embrace an e-book reader. People who've got themselves a Kindle can now get Narrative Magazine delivered to it; Narrative is the first literary journal available on the Kindle. So far, it's pretty easy to find -- it's the 10th magazine listed in the Kindle store, behind Reader's Digest but before U.S. News & World Report.

In completely unrelated news, A. M. Correa has a very thoughtful post about the role of the translator at Words Without Borders, and considers her motives in contacting the author of a work she's translating:

Although it’s true that an author’s intention can never be assumed and that a text should be considered on its own merits, the translator usually works from an interpretation of the author’s intention, whether this is openly acknowledged or not....

Will I write to him out of respect in a desire to have my translation accurately mirror his view of his work, or is this simply insecurity disguised as deference? Am I unconsciously looking for a way to justify or feel right about certain translation decisions, or am I honestly seeking further illumination into the text?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credit: Bill Tyne via Flickr