Confusion Of Tongues

Is there any point to online translators? I don’t think I’ve had one worthwhile result. One reader just forwarded me this five-star Amazon review from the Japanese version of my novella The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke and wondered if I could make any sense of it. It was translated from Japanese to English by Google’s Babel Fish:

“Mercury of the queen this picture makes tune in motif, this time mark [chiyadobon] being awarded tailoring and the English fantastic literature grand prix in fantastic literature. What kind of big picture 54cm×39cm where you think and starts and, passes. Thinking, without looking into, as for this picture those which could be caught in the mental hospital. There is no such a large expectation. When so you look at this picture, steadily it becomes large. Feeling of size is gone in any case. You have not looked at such a picture. Just the [zu] paragraph which is not. After so looking at this picture thoroughly, when you read this book, this writer it is enormous, you understand. Like this picture it is small to the last, it passes shortly only volume. So this is the work where feeling of size is gone. Seeing too much television of recent card magic?….”

Tate Britain Appearance

Yesterday I gave a very successful lecture at the world-famous Tate Britain art gallery in London, entitled ‘Myth, Memory and the Art of Richard Dadd’. The event was a sell-out, and also pretty ground-breaking on several fronts. I was one of the first – if not the first – genre writer to be invited to the Tate to give a lecture for one of their rightly-acclaimed study days. And personally, it was one of the most high-profile appearances I’ve made.

I only have praise for the staff and academics at the Tate who treated both myself, and the genre, with a great deal of respect. Before the lecture, the audience toured the gallery to see Dadd’s work and many took the opportunity to ask me about my opinions on the artist and his work. After that I gave the lecture, touching on not only my interest in Dadd and my novella about his most famous painting, ‘The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke’, but also about other authors influenced by Dadd – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Robert Rankin and more. We followed this with an at times intense debate with an art historian about the meaning of Dadd’s work, and a couple of readings from The Fairy Feller novella.

The novella has gone from strength-to-strength since it won the British Fantasy Award four years ago. The limited edition by PS Publishing has nearly sold out, and the added attention from this Tate event has created interest from across the world. Now I need to find a mainstream publisher interested in reprinting it as part of a collection so it can reach a wider audience.

[cross-posted]