Monday, November 27, 2006

"My tender one," said Mr. Kopfrkingl...

It was two years ago today that I sat down with a now-battered notebook, a work of Ladislav Fuks', my dictionaries, and a pen. Two hundred scribbled words later, I had started the process of turning his life's published work into English.

I had done some tentative scribblings earlier. I would also do but a [tentative/halting?] heavily-annotated chapter and a half of the work (rework later?) and then let it sit for almost six months, but since that was the try that ended up taking, and since I was thoughtful enough to put the date at the top, that's the anniversary I have.

I can't remember what got me started that day, and those first couple of pages have seen more heavy revision than others, but I now have a sixth or seventh draft of Burner of Corpses and am editing the second drafts of the short story collections Death of a Guinea Pig and My Black-Haired Brothers. I believe I've also got a first-draft first chapter of Mr. Theodor Mundstock sitting in a notebook upstairs as well. This time last year, I'd barely had a second or third draft of the first one; I'm fitfully picking up steam, it seems. The more the merrier.

Goals for Year Three? [Purely as it pertains to translating]. I'd like to have all three of the ones I'm done now in servicable form (read--fifth draft or more), with Mundstock and the novella The Way to the Promised Land at least transcribed from their [as-yet nonexistent] handwritten first drafts. There's enough to do that running out of things is the least of my worries.

I'm thankful for projects, and for all the people who've had a kind or kindly critical word to say along the way.

Only one way to move forward, though.

To work.

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