Read Traduciendo el cielo by John Crowley Free Online
Book Title: Traduciendo el cielo|
The author of the book: John Crowley
Date of issue: 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.95 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.5
ISBN 13: 9788445074725
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My husband is a huge John Crowley fan, and one day, he very un-subtly left "The Translator" on my nightstand. I admit I was a little hesitant: I enjoyed Crowley's other works, but I also found him hard work to get through. But "The Translator" turned out to be very different from "Little, Big" or the "Aegypt" cycle. The prose is still gorgeous, but this time, it's fluid and almost cinematic as opposed to convoluted and dream-like. Crowley went very far from magical realism and dove straight into historical fiction, which surprised me. But this makes for a much more accessible and easy-going read!
In the early 90's, Christa Malone travels to Russia to talk with some people about her former college professor, exiled Russian poet Innokenti Isayevich Falin, who mysteriously disapeared in the early 1960's. His poetry was never published in his native language - hardly published at all in fact, until she published the English version of a few of them in a collection of her own poetry.
The novel is about their unfolding relationship in a small college town, just before the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it is also about the constant opposition between American and Russian culture, the power of words, in poems but also in different languages, the way they mean different things to different people. Crowley clearly has a remarkable understanding of poetry and of Russian literature, and he created a completely believable female lead. I found Kit authentic, vulnerable and touching. Her relationship with Falin was not what I expected at all, and could have only ever happened in that specific setting. I felt the 1960's very vividly in her recollections: the settings, the turns of phrase, the bright and shiny surfaces masking dark troubles that no one can bring themselves to speak aloud.
The idea of translation as inevitably imperfect, because some subtleties of language can never really be expressed in a different language, is something that I think about a lot. I navigate between French and English every day and I know all too well that some feelings can be expressed better in one language than in the other, that when I try to say one thing in one language and then in the other, it's just not the same. It's the main reason I never read translation if the original was either in English or French: I want to read what the writer really said. Russian is a beautiful, highly complicated language and while I can't speak or read it, I am all too aware that anything I'll ever read translated from the original will never fully capture what Tolstoy, Dostoevsky or Chekhov was trying to say - and to be perfectly honest, that makes me sad. Falin notes at some point that the English translation of one of his poem is actually not the poem at all; it is a poem, that is sensibly about the same thing, but it can never be the exact same poem...
This is my favorite John Crowley novel so far: beautifully written, absorbing - and it made me want to read Pasternak, who is mentioned several times. A solid 4 stars.
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Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
John Crowley was born in Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942; his father was then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after college to make movies, and did find work in documentary films, an occupation he still pursues. He published his first novel (The Deep) in 1975, and his 15th volume of fiction (Endless Things) in 2007. Since 1993 he has taught creative writing at Yale University. In 1992 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
His first published novels were science fiction: The Deep (1975) and Beasts (1976). Engine Summer (1979) was nominated for the 1980 American Book Award; it appears in David Pringle’s 100 Best Science Fiction Novels.
In 1981 came Little, Big, which Ursula Le Guin described as a book that “all by itself calls for a redefinition of fantasy.”
In 1980 Crowley embarked on an ambitious four-volume novel, Ægypt, comprising The Solitudes (originally published as Ægypt), Love & Sleep, Dæmonomania, and Endless Things, published in May 2007. This series and Little, Big were cited when Crowley received the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature.
He is also the recipient of an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant. His recent novels are The Translator, recipient of the Premio Flaianno (Italy), and Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land, which contains an entire imaginary novel by the poet. A novella, The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines, appeared in 2002. A museum-quality 25th anniversary edition of Little, Big, featuring the art of Peter Milton and a critical introduction by Harold Bloom, is in preparation.
Note: The John Crowley who wrote Sans épines, la rose: Tony Blair, un modèle pour l'Europe? is a different author with the same name. (website)
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