#ThrowbackThursday: Le Grand Meaulnes

Linked in The Chocolate Lady’s Book Reviews #ThrowbackThursday link party.

My Throwback Thursday contribution this month is my Emerald City Book Review post Lost in Translation: Le Grand Meaulnes – if you missed the announcement a couple of days ago, this is what I’m aiming to read for Summer in Other Languages this year. Read my post to see what I thought of the book in English; I hope that it will be a more satisfying experience in French.

Do you have a Throwback Thursday post to share? Let me know so I can visit yours!

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7 thoughts on “#ThrowbackThursday: Le Grand Meaulnes

  1. Wow. What an interesting throw back post. I’m with you, some novels don’t abide themselves to be translated, while for other books, it’s as if the experiences keeps ‘breeding’ greatness, or expanding like roots, while for others it looks like a plant whose flowers are cut and we’re left with just leaves, and the stem. And some languages are more translatable to other languages, -I’m thinking that French translates better into Spanish than English, for example. I’m about to reread Tartufo, in a translation that kept the rhyme. Also, some languages have a pool of words from the same times, -Moliere is still a good example-, so I when I read it it sounds as different Spanish, ‘aged’, as it should be, in the form and delivery, and hilarious in evoking eternal humor on never aging topics, -the staff that makes up humankind LOL-.
    There’s a non widely known book in Spanish, that I believe to be a small jewel, Alfanhui, by Sanchez Ferlosio, that I adore, but it’s so knee deep into the poetic realm that I wonder how it’ll sound in translation.
    Maybe, only maybe, I should acquire it in English and see how it compares?

    It’s such a joy to read your posts. As a fellow reader of books in two languages and translations, I share these questions and obsessions.

    The second translation seems too mundane btw, just by the few samples you share, yes.

    1. Always nice to hear from a fellow language obsessive! 🙂 Translation is so tricky and sometimes frankly impossible except to give a sort of vague impression of the work. To be successful, the translator has to be an artist in his or her own right, who creates an equivalent work of art in the second language, capturing the qualities of the first but in a totally different medium.

      The translation of LGM that I read didn’t seem to me to capture the magic that readers of the French book described, so I’m curious to see whether I have a different aesthetic experience with the French — it’s hard for me in another language than English where I’m primarily struggling just to understand the content.

      1. Looking forward to knowing how the French reading goes and I relate to how difficult it is to read in another language or even our own when the text is challenging (say older English etc)

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