Annalisa Maurantonio is a freelance translator – doing it for her own sake and not on commitment. She chooses books she would like to translate or would like to see translated into Italian. That’s how she started translating my novel “Drømmer om storhet” (Sogni di Grandezza, Hic Sunt Leones Press 2010). She claims she knew some of my works before I sent her a request to be friends on Myspace some years ago, because of her university studies in Norwegian literature and her personal curiosity to go deeper into her interests in literature and music. She has studied Scandinavian literature, has been a teacher for Norwegian and also worked with an Italian publisher where she published the translation of “Poetenes Evangelium”, the anthology by Håvard Rem.(more…)
According to the Brazilian Igor Brito his translation of Pål H. Christiansens novel Drømmer om storhet is being undertaken with great care and affection to all Portuguese language readers in the world. He is trying to approach a language that triggers doubt, curiosity, reflection and inspiration, an invitation to the reader to the universe of words and their various meanings and senses, which is the soul of the book. We had a chat with him just before Christmas about the progress of the work.
– Hi Igor. You have been so kind to work with the translation of Pål H. Christiansens novel Drømmer om storhet in your spare time for a while. Can you give us an update? How much work is left with the translation?
Well, I’ve had a tough time with my teaching responsibilities, other translations, appointments and personal matters that I had to reorganize my schedule. In the meantime, I could read the English and Italian translations of Drømmer om storhet, as well as the original book. It was a profitable and rewarding time because I needed to mature and perfect my skills as a translator, to provide Portuguese language readers a unique experience, honoring the stylistics, pragmatics and symbolism of the three works merged as one, without losing Pål’s essence, which is the seasoning of the Portuguese version for me. From now on I want to work at a good pace. It’s hard to set a deadline for the final result, but I’m working hard to have one chapter done every two or three weeks.
-You have been learning quite a bit of Norwegian during the recent years. Do you find Norwegian difficult? What is really different from Portuguese?
Portuguese is a Romance language and Norwegian is Germanic. They are in different branches of the great tree of language, but they belong to the same root of this tree. Both Portuguese and Norwegian are Indo-European languages, and both suffered great influence of Latin and Greek. I don’t know exactly how each linguistic phenomenon occurred in the course of time, but they share many morphological and phonetic similarities, as seen in words like interessant, trist, gravid, ferie and dozens more, and have similar isochrony in their syllables. I’d not say difficult is the right word. I consider written Norwegian more tangible than spoken Norwegian. Learners need some time to master listening skills.
– What challenges have you met in the translation of the novel?
When a literary work is translated into another language, it is necessary to use many linguistic resources, since every language has its own way of expressing themselves. That’s when stylistics, pragmatics and symbolism come in because there are parameters or paradigms, and nuances that may or may not sound good to a certain word, phrase or even a whole thought compared to the other language.
– Can you describe why this novel should be interesting for the Portuguese reading audience?
Drømmer om storhet has Waaktaar-Savoy as the core and foundation for the unfolding of the plot, highlighting his mastery with words and how he was the driving force and inspiration for the turning point in Hobo’s life. In particular, Brazilians have huge admiration for Waaktaar-Savoy’s work, and I believe that his image linked to a novel will bring attention to Portuguese language readers, not only in Brazil, but also other Portuguese speaking countries.
-Apart from the Waaktar-Savoy theme, what qualities in the novel would you point at for any reader of fiction as such?
Pål H. Christiansen and Hobo seem to be the same persona when you go through the novel. He embodies Hobo’s saga in his writing with such passion and creativity that both seem to have the same dream. We can sum up the novel as the pursuit for dreams through the making of words as an art form as though they were paintings or pottery. Pål was so avant-garde with the stylistics and his own features in the book that it would make a very sophisticated prose-poetry work. Without any doubt, Drømmer om storhet is source of inspiration for anyone who can make life worth living and has the words as a mighty weapon to create or change anything for better.
– It still remains to find a publisher for the work. What are the chances in Brazil you think?
Perhaps this question is the most difficult of all. A short-term speculation would be dishonest of my own. In this digital age, you need to analyze a number of pros and cons, and cost-benefit to release a physical book, especially in the case of Brazil, which has very little appeal and incentive to the purchase of books. For now, my intention is to publish chapter by chapter on social networks and spread the work, to see the public acceptance. Once the translation is completed and proofread, we’ll see what happens.
A musical based on my Fjodorbooks with songs by Felix Janosa was staged in Landshut in Germany in December 2014. I had a little chat with director Barbara Pöschl who was in charge of “Fjodor frecher Kabeljau”.
Pål: – Why did you want to stage a musical about Fjodor in Landshut?
Barbara: The idea to do Fjodor came through my search for a new childrens musical with music by Felix Janosa. We had a success with his Ritter Rost a few years ago. So I asked Stephanie Böhm at Terzio if they had a nice story to offer. She suggested Fjodor and told me how much she liked him. I read the books, liked him also and decided to try.
Pål: Was it difficult to find a good actor for Fjodor, and how did you make him behave and appear as a naughty fish?
Barbara: The Singer-Actor of my Fjodor is the perfect cast. He also was my Ritter Rost. The kids liked him a lot, also as Fjodor…even if it really was not so easy to create a fish-figure for the stage. I always had in mind that he has to be funny, nasty, a little obnoxious and mean – but loveable. He should be a showoff. Kids intuitively classify that and put his actions in the right order… I think.
Toni, that’s my actor’s name, has the right feeling for it and he is very good with the kids, exactly sensing how far he can go, not to scare them.
Of course, the outfit had to be more a phantasy-fish than a ‘cold’ fishcostume. It took me a while, to figure out, how to do it. But then it was very easy, also to create Siri, Maike and Finja. With their pastelcoloured, fluffy, shiny costumes they became a contrast to the ‘real people’ on stage.
Pål: – Did you use playback music or live music?
Barbara: I used the playbacks. Everything else would have cost to much money and time.
But I arranged the music for my chorus girls Siri, Maike and Finja – who cannot talk! And so it became a nice different sounding touch. The chorus comments everything by singing.
Pål: – You have even made the script for the Fjodorplay that is distributed by Musicals on Stage. What did you do to make the stories and songs about Fjodor work on stage?
Barbara: I actually wrote two different textbooks. One, which allows children as actors, and the other one which I did in Landshut with adult actors.
The childrens setting is a combination of your first and third book and many children can participate. The adult setting is a mixture of your first and second book, where you only have 7 actors to manage. This aspect was important to me. And also: I chose the second book, because it’s the only one where Palles mama appears as a real person- not only being talked about. Well, I think a theatrical setting for children should show a whole Family, not? In your third book we have the kabeljau family, by the way.
Going along the stories I created dialogs, which allow to put the different episodes into action ….in which Siri, Maike and Finja play an important part….
I think the adult stage concept is working nicely.
Pål: – There was a third show in January this year. Will there be even more?
Barbara: I like to push Fjodor at least in Landshut by trying to bring him back on stage at the end of this year.
My problem is, that neither my Fjodor-, nor my Palle-actor, have time to participate. So I have to find substitutes. Well, I’ll see and let you know.
Are you interested to bring Fjodor on stage in Norway? A nice idea, isn’t it? But in any case, if we play Fjodor again here, it would be very special to have you as our guest.
Pål: – Can you tell me a little about yourself, your background with music and your work in Landshut?
Barbara: Professionaly I am an opera singer… not being into opera anymore. Several years ago I got into coaching musical-groups and doing my own music-shows with a classical touch. I always was very interested in music-theater and how to organize everything – staging, singing and the technical parts.
And, with the experience of success, you start to try more, don’t you?
So we’ll see what adventures the future will bring.
Yes, that’s what Lina Nordmeer did. She made Hobo Highbrow a character in her novel Move to Oslo that was published in German and English last year. Now she has made this interview with Pål H. Christiansen.
L: Hei Pål, that’s how you greet each other in beautiful Norway, don’t you?
P:Hei Lina, yes, that’s what you would say if you met me in the middle of Karl Johansgate in Oslo.
L: I’d like to ask you a few questions about your novel „Scoundrel Days of Hobo Highbrow” and about your musical preference…
– Conte-me um pouco sobre você. Quem você é e qual é sua formação?
Igor: Me chamo Igor Brito, tenho 23 anos, nasci e vivo em Belém do Pará, na Região Norte do Brasil. Sou formado em Letras. Sou graduado em Letras pela Universidade da Amazônia, sou licenciado para lecionar Português e Inglês e Literaturas Americana, Inglesa, Brasileira e Portuguesa. Atualmente, sou professor de Inglês como Língua Estrangeira no Castilla Curso de Idiomas. Sou também instrutor particular de Inglês Instrumental e tradutor freelance. No meu tempo livre sou autodidata, estudo línguas sozinho e gosto de comparar suas raízes e encontrar nelas parâmetros em comum quanto ao léxico, semântica, morfologia e sintaxe. Isso é algo que faço com muita freqüência. Fora meus deveres acadêmicos e os estudos, gosto de frequentar a academia de ginástica, caminhar, escutar música, escrever, assistir seriados, documentários e quaisquer esportes a motor, principalmente a IRL e Fórmula 1.
– Como começou seu interesse pela Noruega?
Igor: Meu interesse começou em 2003 quando eu escutei a versão em estúdio de Hunting High and Low do primeiro álbum do a-ha. Senti algo muito especial, profundo e diferente na voz do Morten Harket, na música e no som do a-ha. Então, eu comecei a procurar por vídeos e outros materiais deles. Nossa! Foi como nascer de novo, como a revelação de uma nova filosofia de vida e uma nova forma de ver as coisas, por isso fiz questão de mencioná-los nos meus Agradecimentos em meu Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso da faculdade. Em 2006, descobri a carreira solo de Morten e seus álbuns em Norueguês, o Poetenes Evangelium e o Vogts Villa. Foi uma sensação formidável, os arranjos eram transcendentais e sofisticados e o som da língua me encantou. Daí foi o início de uma nova etapa. Desde então, muitas coisas frutíferas apareceram na minha vida acadêmica e na minha vida como um todo e tem sido a base em meus estudos em minha carreira enquanto professor e pesquisador. Em 2010, ministrei um mini-curso em um simpósio na faculdade, abordando linguística comparada do Norueguês com o Inglês na poética existencialista de Håvard Rem, poeta norueguês e autor de todos os poemas musicados no álbum solo de Morten, Vogts Villa. Foi uma experiência magnífica.
– Como você conheceu Pål H. Christiansen? Por quê você quer traduzir o livro dele, Drømmer om storhet?
Igor: Meu primeiro contato com o Pål foi no Facebook há alguns meses atrás. Lá começamos a conversar sobre literatura, seu trabalho na literatura, sua e minha paixão pelo a-ha, minha formação, trabalhos e meu conhecimento quanto à experiência em tradução, língua norueguesa e estudos em outras línguas. Durante nossas conversas mostrei interesse em traduzir seu romance Drømmer om Storhet, dizendo a ele que seria uma oportunidade muito legal para os fãs do a-ha que falam a língua portuguesa, especialmente os brasileiros, ler tal brilhante estória com uma escrita muito habilidosa dele, ao mesmo tempo tendo seu xará Pål Waaktaar-Savoy como a força motriz da inspiração de Hobo, que está em busca de sua redenção como escritor, com a ajuda de Pål Waaktaar e seu soberbo talento para a composição escrita. Argumentei que isso seria de grande interesse aos fãs falantes de língua portuguesa do a-ha e admiradores do trabalho dele enquanto romancista. Da mesma forma, Pål mostrou confiança e interesse em meu trabalho e me deu a oportunidade de traduzir Drømmer om storhet, considerando também o fato de eu ser um grande seguidor do a-ha e graduado na área de línguas. Definitivamente foi como juntar o útil ao agradável.
– Quais são os maiores desafios em traduzir do norueguês para o português?
Igor: Desde meu primeiro contato com o norueguês senti grande facilidade e conforto em aprendê-lo. No geral, o norueguês tem regras gramaticais simples, um vocabulário acessível e pronúncia fácil, e muitas palavras do norueguês vieram do latim e do grego, assim como no português e inglês. Português, inglês e norueguês pertencem às raízes indo-europeias, por isso há muitas semelhanças concernentes a muitos aspectos linguísticos e vejo isso como uma vantagem muito grande e que torna meu trabalho mais fácil, ou menos difícil, depende do ponto de vista. Acho que um dos maiores desafios é ser bastante cuidadoso com a escrita durante o processo tradutório. Tenho que usar mais de um dicionário para saber quais são as expressões e colocações mais adequadas e/ou mais próximas das correspondências com o português, especialmente ao lidar com adjetivos e sintagmas verbais. Tem sido uma grande experiência este processo e tenho tido uma grande sintonia com o Pål. Ele é muito prático, eficiente e humilde. É uma pessoa muito sábia.