At the hairdresser’s today, for a much-needed cut by the wonderful Carol, we got to talking about books. I don’t usually go to the hairdresser’s expecting literary chat (more fool me). However, I came away with some great recommendations, including the advice to stop off at the Oxfam bookshop nearby, which Carol said is really well-stocked. I did, and it is. I found one of her suggested books, The Island, by Victoria Hislop, which I can’t wait to read. Plus another seven…
One of these was Deaf Sentence, by David Lodge. According to the blurb it’s about “retired professor of linguistics Demond Bates” and his experience of growing older and deafer. And of having to deal with his hearing-impaired father, who refuses to seek help. My own Mum’s become pretty deaf and refuses to wear her hearing aid, so this struck a chord. But what really decided me to buy Deaf Sentence was the dedication:
Conscious that this novel, from its English title onwards, presents special problems for translators, I dedicate it to all those who, over many years, have applied their skills to the translation of my work into various languages, and especially to some who have become personal friends: Marc Amfreville, Mary Gislon and Rosetta Palazzi, Maurice and Yvonne Couturier, Armand Eloi and Beatrice Hammer, Luo Yirong, Suzanne Mayoux and Renate Orth-Guttmann, and Susumu Takagi.
I’m not a literary translator and I don’t know any of the people listed above. But it was so nice to see David Lodge recognising their work as translators, and in such a prominent way. How could I resist?
By the way: If you live in the Glasgow area and are looking for a great hairdresser and a great chat into the bargain, I highly recommend Carol King. She’s at the Rainbow Room at 607 Great Western Road, tel: 0141 337 3370
By Marian Dougan