Reading Meme – Day Eight

Day Eight – Your favorite work in translation

Even though it means wading though Victor Hugo’s philosophical and political digressions, Les Misérables is still my favorite work in translation.

Victor Hugo's Les Miserables

In honorable mention, I give you The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, which makes my brain melt for whole different reasons.

Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose


About Jessica

Dork extraordinaire, that's me! An unhealthy knowledge of Star Trek, a love of books, a fondness for purring cats.
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5 Responses to Reading Meme – Day Eight

  1. Andy says:

    The Stranger by Albert Camus, the opening lines of which are translated:

    “Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.”

    I’ll reserve a space for À la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust, which I’ve been told by someone I trust to hold off reading until I’m 40.

    • Jessica says:

      I won’t say I hated The Stranger, because that bit of vitriol is reserved for the already mentioned Look Homeward, Angel, but I very definitely did not care for it. Or about it. It incites much apathy on my part. The only thing worse was making the mistake of picking up Waiting for Godot right afterward.

      Proust is on my list of authors to get around to reading one day. Good to know that at least one of his works is something I shouldn’t touch for another ten years or so. 🙂

  2. Redhead says:

    Jessica, you posted two of my favorite translated works! Les Mis was the first translated novel I ever read for fun (not for school), and I loved it (ok, there is that really, really, really long bit about Napoleon and his horse, but whatever).

    Name of the Rose is just an incredible novel. If I hadn’t just read it like 6 months ago, it would be on my short list of stuff to read right away.

    I’d also add Sergei Lukyanenko’s Nightwatch. A very different supernatural/ paranormal worldview than I think most people are used to.

    • Jessica says:

      I just went and looked up Nightwatch. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it’s on my wishlist now. Given my 2011 resolution to read what I have, it may take a while to get around to it, but I definitely will. It looks like a great read.

      Victor Hugo is an author whose works I love because they move me, and they make me think, and they’re beautiful, but the man digresses like nobody’s business. I hate to say it, but when I read Les Mis again, it’ll probably be an abridged version.

      I’d love love love to have an edition of The Name of the Rose that is illustrated, and has translations of the Latin passages. I don’t know if such a thing exists, but if it does, I want it.

  3. Brenda says:

    I haven’t read either of those. Maybe someday, but it’s not like I’m looking around for book ideas, you know? 🙂

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