McSweeneys - #42
This issue (2012) is devoted to multiples. Here appearing are 42 versions of twelve stories. What makes the difference ? The translations ! In this issue one may enjoy written contributions by 61 authors in 18 languages, as diverse as Urdu, Hebrew, Icelandic and… Dutch. To get an idea of how this works: Arnon Grunberg made a Dutch translation of a story by Daniil Kharms. He worked from an English version of a French version of an English version from a Russian story. And so grows an anthology of stories in an assortment of languages and literary styles. The (guest)editor Adam Thirlwell is the brain behind the experiment. Against all odds he expected all stories to emerge unscathed from the onslaught of translation. But the six phases – translations (1), translations of translations (2), translations of the retranslations (3), re-re-retranslations (the work of Grunberg), re-re-re-retranslations (5), re-re-re-re-retranslations prove just a little too much for the integrity of the initial story. Still: it’s all done in the best possible taste.