Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pg. 69: "The Rainforest" (trans.)

Last month the blog featured a "page 69" item on Alicia Steimberg's The Rainforest.

Given my interest in and respect for the work that translators do, I thought it would be interesting to see how the translator, Andrea G. Labinger, saw page 69 of the novel. Here's what Andrea reported:
Yes, this page provides a representative glimpse of the novel in its entirety. We hear the voice of Cecilia, the first-person narrator, describing a typical conflict – if anything can be called “typical” in the life of this dysfunctional dyad – with her drug-addicted son, Federico, and with her own conscience. Cecilia is torn between acquiescing to Federico’s demands for money so that he can start up his own business (a chimera, as she well knows) and setting the “limits” the therapists have recommended, boundaries that Cecilia would like to establish but is afraid to impose on this troubled, violent son whom she dearly loves. Cecilia also poses an existential question here that clearly reflects her intelligence and introspection: “What if I were a clown, an actress, a teller of horror stories? What if none of this ever really happened?”
Many thanks to Andrea for her input.

If you missed the link, click here for the author Alicia Steimberg's take on The Rainforest.

Andrea Labinger has translated much prose fiction from Spanish, including Steimberg’s Musicians and Watchmakers and Call Me Magdalena, Carlos Cerda’s To Die in Berlin and An Empty House, and the writing of Sabina Berman, Mempo Giardinelli, and Ana María Shua. Her latest translations include The Rainforest and “Casablanca” by Edgar Brau, published in Casablanca and Other Stories.

Labinger's translation of Steimberg's Cuando digo Magdalena was a finalist in the PEN USA Literary Competition, 2002.

She is Professor of Spanish, at California's University of La Verne.

Previous "page 69 tests":
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue