East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Translating and Re-Writing

A&A new logo 230I already mentioned how writing my first Aculeo & Amunet story in Italian was a weird experience – how the characters changed, how their speech patterns altered.

How, in the end, the characters changed because of the language.

Now, I’m translating the story for my English-language readers.
Only, I’m not. Continue reading

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Affection does not translate well

Some things do not translate.
The Italian expression “volersi bene” for instance.
Normally it is considered as a milder equivalent of “loving” – if I say that Jack and Jill “si vogliono bene” I’m implying they are in love with each other, but in a somewhat quiet, not very passionate way.

But that’s wrong.
First, because it can be misleading.
A literal meaning is closer to “they wish well to each other”, or even more precisely “they desire each other’s good”.
It’s something soft, maybe even a little cuddly, but sometimes it’s love, sometimes it’s something else.


But it gets trickier than that. Continue reading

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The Library of the Lost

I’m keeping busy.
While I put the finishing touches on my PhD and on the second ebook in the series of pulp history essays started with Avventurieri sul Crocevia del Mondo, I’ve finally taken the first step towards making an old dream of mine reality.

ladytigersmallLast week I published my Italian translation of Frank R. Stockton‘s The Lady or the Tiger?, and its sequel, The Discourager of Hesitancy.
Short ebook, great cover, cheap price tag.

I hope this will be a first in a series of translations of old classics in the field of imaginative fiction, of adventure and of fantasy.
There’s a lot of public domain stories, out there, that were never translated in my language – or that have not been reprinted in the last sixty or seventy years.

So I’ve a dream-list of public domain stories – shorts, novelettes and short novels, mostly – which I dreamed of reading as a kid, but were not available in my language… and are still unavailable.
I’ll work slowly, I’ll translate them, and put them forth as cheap ebooks.
I’ll call them I Dimenticati – The Forgotten Ones.

Let’s give the kids something different from Twilight clones and other soul-less narratives.

Wish me luck.


Undisclosed Translation Project

It has nothing to do with my post - but I love this movie.

It has nothing to do with my post – but I love this movie.

Observant surfers will have noticed the new word-count picometer in the sidebar, tracking the progress of the Undisclosed Translation Project, or UTP.
How very mysterious!

Now, The Claws of the Purple Cat is currently on hold, as some details of the overall project are being revised by the publisher.
I will wait for the go-ahead from my editor before I start working again on The Claws, for the very simple reason that, as fun as the project is, spending time to complete something that might be cancelled would be a waste of unpaid-for time.
I am sure the project will start again, and I’ll be happy to resume my writing when it happens.

In the meantime, Continue reading