Last week, my writing ground to a slow halt. I was all depressed and wondering what was the matter with me. Then my throat began to feel sandpapered and every hollow in my head and lungs filled with mucus. Aha. A cold. What is that icky taste on your tongue when you get sick? Is it all the white blood cells who died bravely on the battlefield?
This is the sort of thing that reminds me that I’m really just a meat puppet; any high falutin’ aspirations I might have about art and intellect completely evaporate when the body is displeased. My thoughts look something like this: bleaaaaaaaaaaaarghaaaaaaaaaa*snort*help! Sorbet is ambrosial to me this week: it’s fruity, it’s cold against my flaming esophagus, and it won’t make me puke. Oh, fruit sorbet, I love you almost as much as Sudafed and the six-year-old codeine cough syrup I’ve been sucking down in a little plastic shotglass. (Yes, that means the cough syrup is extremely expired, but I like to think of it as finely aged.)
In non-snot related news, my agent made it to the London Book Fair last week despite the fact that Iceland exploded. So, possibly I will soon get news that 13 rue Thérèse was sold to some more foreign markets–I hope! So far it’s been bought by the UK and Italy. I get asked if I intend to do the French translation myself should France buy it, and I always laugh–hell no! I’ve done a bit of translation and it is bloody hard, plus French is pretty much the only language in the world this book can’t be translated into since it has French sprinkled in it, and it is partially about translation. (I guess there’s a moral here about how you can never go home again.) So, to whoever might translate this thing into French one day–good luck and godspeed. I will ship you a bottle of JD. Or codeine cough syrup, whichever floats your boat.
In this computer I have a translation I did of a collection of prose poems by Paul Valéry. I also wrote an accompanying introduction and conclusion about the pleasures and trials of translating it. Technically, if I wanted to submit it to an academic press somewhere, there isn’t that much more work that needs to go into it. But, I am lazy. Also, I am guessing submitting it will be a lot easier once I have a book out. It was a fun project, the challenge of finding a voice for it was much the same as finding a voice for a piece of original writing. The voice had to be based on Paul Valéry, but of course it could never be him. It was something like how I imagined he would sound if he spoke English, or rather, how he would sound if he spoke French in English. So, you can imagine this endeavor gave my brain something to chew on for a while. Anyway, the professor who supervised me while I was doing this thing said he hoped I would finish it off and try to publish it even though I am leaving academia. He is right, I should. But, as stated above, I am lazy.
Right now I am picturing Darth Vader standing over my prone pajamaed body pronouncing: “Entropy is strong with this one.” Yes, yes it is. I am hoping if I chug enough cough syrup I will dissolve right out of consciousness.
You crack me up, Elena. You have a funny way of mocking yourself when in a predicament. I hope your book gets bought in more countries. When is it coming out in the US?
Hi Alexandra! It comes out February of next year. The wait feels soooooooooo loooooooooooong–especially when it’s so mucus-soaked.