Books

Books translated by Nora Gal

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“Maggie has never had any dolls before, she had no idea that little girls rely on dolls. She played happily with whistles, slingshots and crumpled tin soldiers, which had already been thrown out by her older brothers, her hands were always dirty, her shoes were in the mud. “

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Albert Camus, The Stranger

Manifesto of existentialism, written by one of the key French philosophers and writers of the twentieth century, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The action takes place in colonial Algeria, where the protagonist – without a name, but with the name Merco – is accused of killing a local resident, tried and sentenced to death. This is a story about the fact that sometimes only extreme circumstances and the proximity of death can arouse a person’s interest and taste for life. In this translation, Nora Gal tried, on the one hand, to accurately convey the paradoxes of Camus’s philosophical thought, on the other – not to lose the conciseness and rhythm of his prose.

“The word alive and dead”

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Perhaps one of the most famous books in Russia about working with language. Many forget that the translator is faced with two languages ​​(the language of the original and the one to which he is translating, and the second has to tinker). This book is the sum of Gal’s experience with Russian both as a translator and as an editor and publicist. Here she examines specific cases, shows that there are rules, but there are no rules – you need to have good hearing and a keen eye in order to put words in place. The book “The Living and the Dead Word” is just adjusting hearing and sight – and therefore invaluable.

“All the mistakes of writers, mental deafness or just deafness to the word – all this with a special, shameless obviousness is exposed in a book for children, whether even a textbook, primer, especially a fairy tale, poems, prose. There is no excuse and nothing to hide – the lack of thoughtfulness, instinct, taste and tact will certainly betray itself.

Susan Sontag, The Kid

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Sontag is a legend of American culture, writer, screenwriter, essayist. In Russia, it is known mainly for essays and theoretical works – in 2010 they were generously published by Ad Marginem and Garage: “On Photography”, “Against Interpretation”, “Disease as a Metaphor”, “Under the Sign of Saturn”, “Looking at Others”. suffering. Her unique diaries have also been published, revealing how she shaped her image as a model of American intelligence. However, Sontag’s prose is still little known to the Russian reader, all the more interesting because it interested Gal in the early 1980s – the translation of “Baby”, a story about the madness of parenthood, dated 1981. Sontag was generally lucky with the translators (for example, “About Photography” was translated by renowned master Victor Golyshev), but the translation of her two stories Gal is unique and shows the fine taste and hearing of the famous translator: she recognized Sontag as a great writer before reading it. mainstream, and translated the stories to the table – they were published only posthumously.

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