Play Book Tag discussion

Death in Venice
This topic is about Death in Venice
Archive: Other Books > Death in Venice - Thomas Mann 4.5/5

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Nicole D. | 1497 comments What a wild little book. An interesting window into the mind of a wealthy German author (a stretch, I'm sure) who decides on a whim to go to Venice. He becomes obsessed with a young Polish boy which ultimately leads to his demise. It was so interesting to "hear" it all play out.

Narrator of the audio version was stellar. May have made this even better than it already was.

There was an interesting forward about translations the responsibilities of the translators which I thought was really interesting. I've often wondered how much liberty translators take to make the words just so ... turns out it depends on the translator, but it made me pay extra attention to the magical language used in this book.

message 2: by Idit (new) - added it

Idit | 1028 comments I read it long time ago and I wasn't too excited about it - but you tempt me try it again one day. I think the weight of expectations of the friend who recommended it at the time, was too much to enjoy the book.

It's interesting what you wrote about translations
I've been thinking about translations twice in the last few days.

I had a hebrew translation of Goodbye to Berlin on my shelf and have wanted to read it for years. Once I've started, I've realized that being an old translation, it made the language feel much 'heavier' and more serious than I felt it should. I found the english original and indeed - the english was much livelier - it totally changed the feel of the characters. It made me feel that I should never read english books in hebrew again ...

The other one was - I'm reading the Tin Drum, and read an article about the translation - Gunter Grass had actually requested a new translation to English when the book was approaching 50 years.
It sounds like the original translator took a lot of liberties. The book has very long sentences, and the translator broke them into very short one. He probably helped a lot in making the Tin Drum the success it was in the world, but I'm really enjoying the new translation, crazily long sentences included.

Nicole D. | 1497 comments Yes, it's super interesting! We all know nothing translates literally, but it's so delicate when you are translating someone elses work. You want to do it justice, but also stay true.

They mentioned dated language specifically. That books need to be re-translated periodically to keep up with the times. I guess at some point we'll be reading Death in Venice in emojis.

Nicole D. | 1497 comments BTW, if you can do audio I really recommend this one on audio.

message 5: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments Translations and translating are a theme in Alameddine's An Unnecessary Woman. The female protagonist spends her time translating classics into arabic. But, she starts from books that have already been translated at least once. The book had me thinking a lot about the ways ideas are disseminated across cultures.

back to top