Monday, January 11, 2010

asterix and the germans

While gingerly making my way through the slush on the way to work this morning I listened to an interesting segment on the Today programme about eccentric German novelist W.G. Sebald. One of the people they'd wheeled in was ubiquitous literary interviewee and talking head Will Self, who is due to deliver the annual W. G. Sebald Lecture this very evening at 7pm at Kings Place (which is just round the corner from King's Cross, here).

One of the things that was mentioned during the interview was that the later Sebald books (most famously Austerlitz) were translated from the original German by Anthea Bell (the earlier ones, including the two I've read, The Rings Of Saturn and Vertigo, were translated by Michael Hulse). It turns out, rather pleasingly, that this is the same Anthea Bell that co-translated (with Derek Hockridge) the Asterix books; clearly a woman of diverse talents. Wikipedia tells me that she is also Martin Bell's older sister.

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