Michelle Bailat-Jones

Writer, Translator, Reader

The Quarterly Conversation and Open Letters Monthly have teamed up this summer for a group read of Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji. The idea is to read about 70-90 pages a week and they have selected the more recent Royall Tyler translation. I’ve decided to join in and ordered my copy of the translation last week. My only experience with Genji is the original and Seidensticker, so this will be a treat. For other language nerds like me, there exists a very cool website in Japanese of the original Genji Monogatari, with the classical Japanese, the modern Japanese and a Romaji transliteration in three interactive panes. So. Much. Fun.

And I just learned (a month late) that Amazon has decided to launch a translation imprint called AmazonCrossing. Using their ever-so-detailed sales and reviews data, they plan to pick up books which are likely to become big sellers and have them translated. On the whole I think this is fantastic news…more books from around the world making their way into English. The first book they’ve picked is from France, The King of Kahel by Tierno Monénembo. I’ll be very curious to see what other books get on to their list.

5 Responses to “bookish news”

  1. Study Window

    Thanks for the head up about Amazon Crossing. I hadn’t heard about it but have signed up for information straight away. I wonder if they could be persuaded to translate some children’s books? So, little children’s literature from other cultures finds its way into English.

  2. Lilian Nattel

    I wish I was a language nerd. I have little talent that way. But I think that a group read of Genji is fantastic! When does it start?

  3. verbivore

    Study Window – They have a contact form, maybe you could persuade them to look at some Children’s fiction. I suspect if they’re looking at sales data, they’ll go for some YA titles.

    Lilian – The Genji read starts today. I’ll be behind because I’m still waiting for my copy…

  4. HF

    Genji monogatari! Sugoi!

    I have only read the older translation too. I’m curious to hear what you think. I remembering it being a tough read, but the love triangle part made it worth it. 🙂

  5. verbivore

    HF! I can’t wait to reread it, it should be a lot of fun. Why don’t you join in? Oh wait! You might be a little busy this summer! 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: