Monday, 10 December 2012

The Housemaid's Daughter in Holland and South Africa

I am continuing to dip into the Dutch translation of The Housemaid's Daughter (see pic above). I wonder if any readers have done the double and read it in both English and Dutch? All credit to you for persistence! As I've mentioned before, I am intrigued to find out whether the story offers different nuances between translations. My Dutch is not good enough to make this assessment, so I hope that someone out there will let me know. In writing Housemaid I often left events and opinions unexplained to allow for the reader's personal interpretation e.g Phil's death, Dawn's life in Johannesburg. We all carry our own versions of a story in our heads - isn't that the essence, and pleasure, of reading? So the choice of a word or the use of a particular phrase in translation could conceivably alter the outcome in the reader's mind...

This blog will soon be on the move to sunnier climes!
Yes, it's time to head south and see how The Housemaid's Daughter is doing in South Africa, where it has been on the shelves for the past month or two. I am hoping to meet with readers to hear their impressions. Just as it was with the earlier version, there is a definite sense of the novel "coming home". This will be the first of two visits to SA over the coming year. In August 2013, I have been invited to speak at the Schreiner Festival in Cradock, where I will be presenting the book to its most discerning audience! I look forward to hearing from local Karoo residents how they interpret my descriptions of their world as it was some thirty to fifty years ago. Not unlike what I am hoping to hear one day from intrepid readers who have read more than one translation of the book...

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