Hobo travels to Poland
Iwona Lustofin (25) lives in the city of Bedzin in Poland. She has recently started on the great task to translate Pål H. Christiansens novel The Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow (Drømmer om storhet) to her native language, a translation mainly based on the english version. A draft of the five first chapters is now online.
Pål: I am happy to present a draft of the first chapters of your translation, Iwona, and the readers will find the link in the end of this interview. But first I would like to know a little more about you. What do you do in real life?
Iwona: Well, at the moment I’m working at Inland Revenue in my hometown, which is pretty depressing. You know, all those incoming taxes and stuff. It’s making people in this place pretty grumpy. I try to write my own stuff, though none of it has ever been published, yet. I also write poetry and try myself in song lyrics from time to time. I also actively support Finnish music stage, mostly my best friends band called Unzyme. But of course I try to not close myself to other music genres. At least not when it comes to listening.
Pål: How come you started up the translation of The Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow?
Iwona: Since about 2003 or 2004 I became a huge fan of a-ha. I simply loved their music, how it evolved through years and it just soothed me when I needed some time for myself. I read somewhere (I don’t even remember where and when) about “The Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow”. When I read the reviews and later on saw the cover I thought: “Wow!!! This must be brilliant piece of writing!”. That’s what made me think that I would love to see this in my native language – Polish. At first I thought I would have to look for someone else to translate it but then I realized – why not me?
Pål: What do you like about this novel?
Iwona: I like the fact that it’s about an average guy, living an average life, that is finding himself a goal he wants to achieve, which is writing a new novel and then meeting up with one of his idols in a-ha. It’s like a typical story, and I guess everyone will understand it in a different way. I personally take it as a message that as long as we’re trying – we succeed.
Pål: What is particularly interesting or difficult with translating the book?
Iwona: The interesting thing about working with this book is that it’s challenges my current knowledge of English language, and also teaches me some new phrases and words at the same time. Of course reading the book and translating it at the same time is an amazing thing to do, but sometimes, when I have a problem with some common phrases and slang, a pain in the ass, haha!
Pål: What kind of feedback would you like readers to give on the test translation?
Iwona: Feedback? Well, the best kind of feedback I would get is to hear if there’s anything I could have done better. Constructive criticism. That’s the best feedback of all. If anyone will catch any mistake or misspelling with his eye – let me know so I can make some corrections. Because everybody can make a mistake.
Pål: What do you expect from the translation being published on the blog apart from this?
Iwona: I hope I will do a good job with the translation, and if so: I hope it will bring happiness to those people that once were thinking about what a pity that this book wasn’t translated to Polish. Well, now it is about to be.
Pål: Where can others find you on the web?
Iwona: Well, I’m on Facebook – it’s the biggest village in the web, isn’t it? If someone is interested, I also write music blog from time to time and that’s in here: crackinreality.wordpress.com
I hope that soon after finishing the translation of “The Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow” I will get back to my books and then I will most likely start a new blog about my own writing.