Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A book comes home

The Independent has a review of Don Bartlett's translation of Beatles, the 1984 novel by Lars Saabye Christensen:
Unbelievably, Beatles was almost lost to the world. Having written the entire tome by hand, Saabye Christensen thought it might interest his old schoolmates at most, and carelessly stuffed the script in a suitcase travelling from France. The suitcase got lost, but found its way back to Oslo after a two-week European round trip that took in London. "Which was only right and fitting," the author says. "Now the book has come home, so to speak."

4 comments:

  1. I'm currently reading Saabye Christensen's novel "Amatøren". I'll be meeting the man himself and two other Norwegian authors at a reception two weeks from today. Almost to the hour.

    Harry

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's great, Harry. I remember meeting Kenneth Steven in Edinburgh some years ago - do you see him, at all?

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, but I know of him and read his occasional effusions in the Scots Magazine. When I first joined the executive committee of Scottish PEN some years ago, he had just persuaded them that the Scots had a lot in common with the Norwegian Sami, so as I had admitted to having Scandinavian interests, I was given the thankless task of liaising with the Norwegian consulate in Edinburgh about possible cultural exchanges with the Sami. My personal opinion was and is that the Scots have an awful lot more in common with mainstream Norwegians than with their colourful reindeer-herding minority. I think Steven is somewhat unworldly.

    Harry

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe Kenneth saw an affinity between Scotland's modern Gaelic-speaking culture and the Norwegian Sami culture of today... I remember discussing that subject with him on a mountainside in Invernesshire. :-)

    I also remember Kenneth for his remarkable feat of translating The Half Brother within the space of 6 months. His translation got a very good critical reception, too, though I haven't read it.

    Yes, he may be a little unworldly, but his work in the field of children's literature, for example, is very fine, I think.

    ReplyDelete

Please try to keep comments on topic.