Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for April 10th, 2013

The Italian job

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Il ladro di reliquie

On April 25, Newton Compton Editori will release Il ladro di reliquie, the Italian translation of The Icon Thief. It’s been a long wait, but things are starting to move very quickly: although we received the initial offer over a year ago, the publication date remained up in the air for a long time, and the final cover art was sent for my approval only last week. The result, as you can see, is really gorgeous, and you can also read the first three translated chapters on the official site. (For those who are curious about how this process works, Penguin owns world English rights to the novel, but there’s also a dedicated foreign rights agent at my literary agency who systematically shops the book to international publishers, usually with the help of affiliates who know the local markets. Italy happens to have been the first country where we made a sale, but I’m hopeful that one day there will be others.)

Seeing a translation of a novel you’ve written is very different from going through the process for the first time: I’ve been only tangentially involved, and I don’t have much of a say over packaging or marketing, so I’m as curious about the result as anyone else. Once my author’s copies arrive, I’m hoping to diligently work my way through as much of the text as possible, which strikes me as a good way to brush up on my Italian. (I tried something similar years ago with the original text of Foucault’s Pendulum, much of which I know by heart, but gave up after realizing that Eco’s vocabulary was, shall we say, rather specialized.) Reading over the translated pages I’ve seen so far is a slightly surreal experience. At this point, I’ve read The Icon Thief so many times that I have trouble even seeing the words, so trying to parse the Italian allows me to see these scenes with fresh eyes for the first time in years. And for that, I’m already grateful.

Written by nevalalee

April 10, 2013 at 8:21 am

Quote of the Day

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Written by nevalalee

April 10, 2013 at 7:30 am

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