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Like a Fading Shadow
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International Booker Prize > 2018 MBI Shortlist: Like a Fading Shadow

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message 1: by Hugh (last edited Mar 13, 2018 04:14AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9706 comments This will be my 5th Antonio Munoz Molina book after In the Night of Time, Sepharad, A Manuscript of Ashes and In Her Absence.

I loved Sepharad, but have suffered slightly diminishing returns with the rest, so have been on something of a Muñoz Molina break. Will be interesting to get back to him.

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9706 comments My review of this one.

Certainly a stimulating read. Not entirely sure the different parts cohere - at times it can even feel a little like those obituaries where the writer seems over-keen to link in their own story (did I mention I went to Lisbon once).

I would still recommend Sepharad as the best of his books.

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9706 comments Interesting review from Jessica Loudis in the TLS, which raises some interesting points on the translation.

But this in turn raises the question of what one judges in a translation: fidelity to the original or, as for the example Daniel Hahn, both judge and winner of translated fiction prizes, has argued, rather the quality of the resulting English work.

One of Loudis’s observations was that “Ramirez’s version sometimes lacks a racial undercurrent, which is in part a function of linguistic differences. It is fairly common in Spanish to refer to a person of colour as a “negro” or “moreno” in the same way that one might refer to a “a blond” in English”, but in English this is less natural.

(A linguistic difference which, incidentally, was at the heart of the Luis Suarez racial abuse accusations in the Premier League)

But Munoz Molina’s declared desire for the novel is to “dwell inside the mind” of his protagonist, James Earl Ray, and Ray would, of course, have spoken and thought in English.

So arguably the English translation is actually closer to the author’s intention, if not to his original words.

Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6145 comments If anyone subscribes or has access to the TLS you will find this week's letter page interesting.

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9706 comments Well it will look remarkably - almost word for word - like the post above.

A letter in the TLS on translation - my work is done.

Meike (meikereads) I finished this one yesterday - that was quite a ride! I feel like Muñoz Molina made a point by writing a book that is part memoir, part biography of James Earl Ray: He writes in a highly naturalist style with many details and facts, the fictional element comes in mainly through his montage and framing. The connections he draws between his protagonists are only there because he wills them into existence, not because there would be any natural connection. Considering the many passages he employs to meditate about the nature of literature, the whole set-up is quite experimental and clever.

Still, I have to admit that I did not love it: It was more of a purely intellectual pleasure. Here's my review.

message 8: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 5597 comments Congratulations on being published in the TLS, Paul.

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9706 comments Well a letter! A fellow RoC judge (not a goodreader) has a commissioned review in the same edition

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 680 comments I liked this book - of the 5 I've read to date, it sits at #3. My review is here -

message 11: by Meike (last edited Apr 01, 2018 08:18AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meike (meikereads) the latest issue of "Die Zeit", there's a big article about King and Ray (in German):

message 12: by Neil (last edited Apr 02, 2018 10:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Neil | 1979 comments I just finished this. It seems I came to a conclusion remarkably similar to that of Meike (possibly unsurprising given how often that seems to happen at the moment). Very clever, but I have to say I preferred DeLillo's Libra which is very similar.

Meike (meikereads) Neil wrote: "I just finished this. It seems I came to a conclusion remarkably similar to that of Meike (possibly unsurprising given how often that seems to happen at the moment). Very clever, but I have to say ..."

The Neil-Meike-Test simply does not fail! :-)

message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 9706 comments It is up there with the Doug-2-star test for infallible book recommendations if correctly interpreted :-)

message 15: by Neil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Neil | 1979 comments It was 50 years ago today:

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