When I was translating his novel Broken Glass – a novel with no full stops, no sentences, in which a variety of characters relate their stories to a scribe in a downtown bar – I kept thinking of the African voices I heard around me in London. It was only after I had finished that I heard Alain speak for the first time. He was speaking French, but with an accent – actually, not even an accent so much as a rhythm – that made sense of the beat of the prose I'd been translating.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Translation of a Book Depends on Recreating a Voice Says Alain Mabanckou's Translator
Says Helen Stevenson about Alain Mabanckou's writing in the Guardian article here. Excerpt: