Gunnar Jauch wrote:
> Arwin van Arum wrote:
> I still have this language crisis though. This list is often
> the only part of my life that keeps me actively involved
> with the English language. On the one hand it is my language
> of preference, as it has shaped the artistic me and I lived
> in it throughout my student days; yet the Dutch language is
> the language I hear every day, the language I can study in
> great and subtle detail by listening people use it in every
> possible situation. It is very hard to write a modern novel
> without being in direct contact with the spoken language,
> and now my only options are to write either a novel in
> completely colourless British or American accents, or not
> write in English at all. It is a true dilemma.
> You have been schooled in English, therefore your mastery
> of the langugage is far better than mine. However, in spite
> of that I'd like to discourage you to try writing literature
> in any other language than in your mother tongue. TSE's
> French poetry, e.g., always strikes me as somewhat wooden,
> not nearly as evocative as his English poetry. I wonder, has
> there ever been writers who could get away in a foreign
> language? I think Hilaire Belloque (whose *Tarantella* I
> have memorized) was a Frenchman, but was perhaps raised in
> England. Marcia will surely know.
Thanks for the encouragement (the putting of heart into me), Gunnar.
Not a professional, but one who gave up a profession to study, I think
first of the Pole known in English as Joseph Conrad; English was his (I
think) third language. And the Irishman Samuel Beckett and his French
writings. I haven't read, but hear good things about Ha Jin, who writes
his novels in his (fairly newly acquired English) rather than in
Chinese. Each writer has to find language for his or her works. The
choice between Dutch and English, for instance, isn't the only choosing
a writer must do, but I can only imagine it as a challenging choice.
As for choice of languages for translation, I think it was Sinclair
Lewis who wanted all his work available in Swedish.
A bien tot,