Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Parkbench: older, wiser and back to blogging.

Well, well, well. The intentions were good, the plan to blog was there, nay, *cringe* articulated repeatedly in print, right here, visible on the web for all to see.

Suffice to say, it has been a busy year. Moving home to Ireland, becoming self-employed, establishing a company in an under appreciated area of a volatile industry and completing an intense, year-long M.Phil at the same time did a fine job of filling all the hours in every day.

Four essays, six portfolio entries and one, full, annotated translation later, the degree has come to an end, and with luck, the new year will bring word of a good mark. Meanwhile, it's been back to properly full-time Parkbench.

I got my second Frankfurt under my belt in October, and had the pleasure of meeting some truly dedicated US publishers of literature in translation, and a selection of right-minded rights folk from across the Continent. Interestingly, all of the rights people I spoke to expressed their frustration with the translations they were using to sell rights that year, which I thought very intriguing altogether. This common strand ran through discussions with tiny independents, literary strongholds and commercial publishers alike, regardless of original language or genre. Some sought help editing their sub-standard translations, others hoped for a future budget that might provide for retranslation, but few were happy with the translations they had in hand, but time pressures meant that they were all they had to offer at the Fair. Any thoughts on this phenomenon would be much appreciated – comment below!

I also got to meet up with some friends from SYP days, who in turn introduced me to International Young Publishers of the Year from recent years, which in turn put me in touch with a man who might just need Maltese translators – but more on that later. Just today, one of the SYP crowd pointed me in the direction of this wonderful teacup storm about the cover of one of my favourite books, Remainder by Tom McCarthy, the UK edition of which I reviewed a couple of years back.

Meanwhile, I'm back to the editorial work in a big way, and looking for translation projects for one and all among the Parkbench freelancers. From the English-language side, I have a HUGE recommendation for Irish freelancers looking to work on their finances this coming year: banking, taxes, pensions, household budgets. Don't yawn! Truly, no one was more surprised than me. Email me for details.

I'm tempted to cram all our news into this one post, but I'll leave it at that for now! More to follow – really.