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Friday, 10 April 2015

Recap: Alain Farah launches Ravenscrag, translated by Lazer Lederhendler

As his custom, Farah was dressed in style for the launch of Ravenscrag, the translated version of his novel Pourquoi Bologne (Le Quartanier, 2013).

On Thursday, the writer was at the store with his translator, Lazer Lederhendler, who won the Governor General's Award for his previous translation of Nikolski, by Nicolas Dickner. As a fan of the translator, Alain admitted meeting for coffee with Dickner, prior to the translation of his book. He felt like he had to ask permission, in the same way one would ask a friend if it's okay to sleep with an ex!

A discussion with Farah, author Catherine Leclerc and Lederhendler brought to light some very interesting translation issues.

If Ravenscrag revolves around the so-called insanity of its narrator, it is, according to Lederhendler,  a very constructed and lucid madness. The non-linearity and playfulness of the narrative has more to do with life itself than with madness. It's a matter of mirroring every day's chaos.

Are the stakes at play too high? Farah will tell you that failure has always been part of the writing game. Being a writer is like playing chess, and endlessly losing the game.

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