Hi folks. Sorry to have fallen off the face of the earth lately -- I've been traveling (again), and won't be back in Edinburgh for a little while longer. Despite my missing all the anarchy currently on offer, it's been interesting nevertheless: flew directly into the swamps last weekend for my mother's birthday -- happy, er, 25th, Mom, if you're reading this -- and after a tranquil few days fishing in the bayou and dodging backyard alligators (yep) have been taking care of predeparture stuff for my relocation to Cambridge next year, prior to zipping over to the ol' alma mater for my ol' roommate's wedding this weekend. (Kids these days, right? Can't turn your back on them for a minute!) Never a dull moment, I reckon, especially if those named Cindy and Dennis have anything to say about it.
In other news, once I get back to Merry Olde next week, there's summer camp for translators waiting for me. It should be a lot of fun -- I'll be translating mostly Italian poetry (with some prose), plus sitting in on the Greek seminars as well -- so once I'm back in Edinburgh I'll be sure to spill a few beans on that. Of especial note, incidentally, is the 'workshops' page on literarytranslation.com. Check it out and you'll see why.
Some apology is necessary, by the way, for my lack of promised Man Booker Int'l Prize commentary. It has to do with hopping continents -- all my notes taken during the judges' panel are on my desk back in Scotland. (That, and the fact that the Count, despite his lofty lineage, was not invited to the actual awards ceremony that evening, where most of the good gossip was to be found. A little bird did tell me, however, that a substantial number of local (and perhaps more deserving) literati weren't invited either, which burnt not a few social bridges for the awards committee -- unfortunately, though, as this little bird was already speaking on condition of anonymity, it couldn't tell me any more than that.)
Anyway: I can say, however, that much of what Manguel, Nafisi, and Carey said in person at the panel was replicated (at times verbatim) from their published comments which appeared in the days following the announcement. Initially this rather annoyed me, but I guess when you take into account how terrifically often they've been speaking about the prize in the past few weeks, it is, admittedly, a little more difficult to chastise them for saying the same things over and over. Of course, it's always possible that their lawyers told them to do it.
That said, it's also possible that they told Manguel not to make a comparison between publishers and sausage-makers (about which I'll say more when I have my notes). But apparently he just wouldn't listen.