Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that they rub all the edge off their subsequent work. ~ Beatrix Potter
PBW has a list of story vows at her blog, which I should probably print out and keep in front of me as I work: I will not avoid you, even when I’m tired and you’re being difficult. I will remember what a privilege it is to spend time with you.
Here’s a lovely interview with Robin Mckinley: But as I grow older, and especially after having discovered a whole second novel-length Beauty and the Beast waiting for me to write it, I realise that being responsible for yourself is not the only critical element for me. It’s also something about the particular quality of love and faith and loyalty between Beauty and the Beast–there are no Black Knights by the ford, there are no glass mountains, there are no topless towers in this story, there is only patiently getting to know each other. And the dangerous climax in Rose is brought on by love and faith, not tricky cleverness or superiority in arms.
Here, too, is an interview with Sian Reynolds, professor and translator, who makes some interesting distinctions about the difficulty of using the right language when dealing with crime fiction: But there is a much more important example in the same book, which I can�t reveal: a clue is left on a car and the wordplay in French is ambiguous, with an effect on the plot. I thought a lot before coming up with my version which I think works OK and doesn�t give the game away too soon, while respecting the original.
I ran into this difficulty in college when studying the Chinese epic, Dream of the Red Chamber, as we had to translate certain sections of it and were reminded the hard way that – as with any language – it’s not just the words, but what’s around the words, the context of everything that shapes a particular meaning, and story. That, and you need to be familiar with a particular culture to pick up certain cues that might otherwise be lost – and that are probably lost, anyway, to some degree. As a translator, all you can do is get as close as you can to the original linguistic and cultural nuances.
Anyway. It’s a beautiful morning. Working on NYX today. Big trouble for the kids.