It is not dead…

This blog is not dead.

I’vebeen simply away on vacation.

More news soo.

Published in: on August 22, 2008 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Doctor is In

Next story on the drawing board – Il Motore di Mario.

Mario’s Engine.

The author is Alessandro Defilippi – writer, psychoanalyst.
The real thing – he even has a short entry on Wikipedia.

Mario’s Engine is a long story, 16 pages.
It is set in Turin, and soaked with jazz music.
Miles Davies, Duke Ellington.
As it deals with an engine one would expect a science fiction number, maybe a hard science fiction number, but there’s something softer and darker underlying it all, that makes the story had to classify.
Is this truly the New Italian Weird?

But we don’t need no stinking badges at this moment.
The text is thick on the page and deceptively plain – sounds like a monologue, like a confession.
Like a sitting with your favorite shrink.

It will be a long job.
It will be a learning experience.

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 9:06 am  Comments (2)  

Another one to go

Fabio Lastrucci’s story is translated and awaiting revision.

It is the right moment to publish the author’s bio in his own words.

Fabio Lastrucci was born in Naples in the last century, at the beginning of teh roaring sixties. Take-away sculptor, illustrateor, cartoonist and scriptwriter in his loose time, he published his stories in the magazine «Strane Storie», Lo Stregatto Editore and in the anthologies Oltre il reale, edizioni Malatempora, and in Fata Morgana 6.

Case & chance gave him a first and a second placement in the «Cosseria Galactica» award, 2000 e 2003, two runner-ups for the«Douglas Adams» Award 2002 e 2003,e and in various other prizes. Provoked by such successes, currently he is fightinig the subjunctives of his first novel. The subjunctive are currently winning.

Published in: on July 11, 2008 at 11:56 am  Comments (1)  
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Syntax as Style

Two thirds into Fabio Lastrucci’s summer alienation story, and boy is this a workoout.
And one of a completely different genre.

Fact is, Lastrucci’s prose is a clear example of what’s been described as “syntax as style”.

It’s not just what he writes – it’s the way he writes it, the order in which he lays the words on the page that is significant, more, decisive to the development of the story.
It would be extremely easy to translate Fabio’s story in the standard, direct way – focusing on getting the meaning across and good riddance.
But that would be just part of the story, and the end result would be lame, incomplete, faulty.

Hence, the problem – replicating as faithfully as possible the author’s phrase construction, without sliding into the sort of English Tarzan used to speak in Johnny Weissmuller movies.
Preserving both grammar and syntax.

This sort of considerations and concerns forced me to scrap my first attempt at translating the opening of the story – and that’s how I’m proceeding now: first I do gramatically sound, concise translations, then I scrap them and do a rewrite mimicking Lastrucci’s phrase construction.

Does it work?
It seems so.
And the story’s so fun, reading and writing it twice is no great effort.

Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 11:58 am  Comments (1)  
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Absolutely Fabio

Wonders of the web.

I never met Fabio Lastrucci personally.
We exchanged a few mails, or comments on on-line forums, but we never occupied contiguous spaces.
And yet here I am translating his “Nella Stagione Arsa” – In the Scorched Season.

Pure unadulterated fantastic fiction, perfectly written.

Going through his opening passage is like phisically visiting the places he describes – not only Fabio has been able to tap into that pool of shared youthful memories we all share, but he’s been able to conjure them on the page through language and tempo.

The story will catch a few readers by surprise – the revelation of the narrator’s true identity, his musings and experiences…

But after all, isn’t that the reason why we read imaginative fiction?
To be surprised?

Published in: on June 27, 2008 at 7:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Kitty, Mousy and Good Year – finished

Now was that fast or what?!

OK, so Consolata Lanza’s story is only 3000 words long, but that’s not the point.

Not the only one, at least.

There is the fun factor – the fact that I am actually enjoying myself translating the story, finding the right turn of phrase.
That normally makes me go a lot faster.

And there is the quality of the writing.
This one helps a lot.
Maybe that’s why it’s taking me so long to finish translating my story.
Or Max’.

Anyway – now I’ll let the story rest for a few days and then I’ll revise it, before inflicting it on my revisors.
Nice and smooth.

I somewhat changed the tito to Kitty, Mousy and Good Year, which I hope better conveys the fact that these are not just names, but terms of endearing.

OK, time for a short break.
Who’s next?

Published in: on June 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Darkness according to Consolata

I’m one third through Consolata Lanza’s short story.

It translates like a breeze – despite a few curves that I’ll have to fine-tune later, like Consolata’s habit of slipping the odd regionalism in her otherwise crisp-clear Italian.

The story is a happily nasty number, as I already mentioned.
The author herself has placed a lengthy post on her blog, about the necessity of goin all the way through where violence is concerned, if violence is what the story needs.
Consolata’s fictional world is one in which bad stuff happens to bad people, so that we can be both horrified at what happens, but at the same time go “There, you bought it, creep!”

And creep‘s the word.

The twist is this lady’s profoundly Piedmontese sensibility towards petty badness.
With an attention to etiquette details that feels like an update of Austen, miss Lanza’s world is full of petty villains – libidinous teachers, doped-out students, giggly chicks, less than honest workers.
We are not dealing with “Evil!”, but with stupidity, bad manners, lack of intelligence.

Compared to the cosmic horror of thelikes of Lovecraft, what the author offers us is much scarier as it’s much more commonplace, and very low-key.

Published in: on June 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who’s Next


One story validated, one story in the finishing phases… time to think about the future.

Up next – Consolata Lanza, with Cat, Mousy and Happy New Year.

Despite the somewhat Disney-esque title, this is a deliciously nasty little story set in Turin’s Egyptian Museum.

Now this is weird.
Considering I spent a lot of time in the Egyptian as a high-school student – coming to the point of cutting lessons with a two friends to go and photograph everything on the premises – this thoroughly enjoyable number about three high-schoolers in the shadowed halls of my unlikely teenage haunt does give me few extra shivers.

But I guess everyone will get a little frisson before the end of the story.

More about the author, her crisp language and her story in future posts.

Published in: on June 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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Slow going, but going

Problems continue – in particular my day life interfering with my nightlife.

But things are slowly moving.

Clad in Steel and Thunder is past its first revision, and boy, it does read nice.
Curiously enough, through the first revision a lot of clutter went, making the English text more compact and streamlined than the original – while all the meat’s still there.

Now, on to other things.

Published in: on June 12, 2008 at 9:40 am  Comments (1)  

Back in the saddle

Carpal tunnel problems kept me away from my keyboard for almost one month.

That, and my difficulties mounting Dragon Naturally Speaking under Ubunt (now that would make my job easy!), kept me from updating these pages.

But I’m back.
I’m fit.

And now I am one full month behind schedule.

Oh, well…

Published in: on May 9, 2008 at 7:03 pm  Comments (2)