Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
APPALLING TRANSLATION of an AMAZING NOVEL
on 23 March 2017
APPALLING TRANSLATION, full stop.
I speak fluent French and English as native.
Houellebecq is also a poet and his writing has fantastic prosody, his use of language
is quite like a music piece, sharp short turning into long or irrelevant to previous lines etc.
This translation truncates whole sentences, literally at places fabricates words which
author didn't even use in the sentence at all (or, worse, what even an A-level student could
see in his dictionary that a translated word is entirely wrong - a wrong fact, like translating
for example plane tree as chestnut tree). This translation is more of a summary of
author's intentions in a sentence through Mr.Translator rather than an effort to render author's literary
intentions as accurately as possible - it feels as if the Frank Wynne couldn't be bothered at some lines.
And this I wrote after comparing only first thirty pages with the original... it felt like licking
ice cream from behind a glass, the plain inaccuracies and errors are way too many.
Vintage publisher can do far better - as its past publications show. It's interesting to know that the
translator claims lots of ''awards'' to his name for some other works - this book, he destroyed, its art.
Sadly, English reader has no other choice... Google Translate App will soon do better work.