Gigi and The Cat (1942-44): Colette


When reading a book that’s been translated from another language, I don’t often think too much about the act of translation. Indeed, I usually think the mark of a good translator is that he or she should be almost self-effacing: you shouldn’t notice that there’s a degree of separation between you as the reader and the original author. However, I couldn’t help but notice the translation in this book: in a good way. As you might remember, I’ve only read one book by Colette before, and that was Chéri, translated by Roger Senhouse. My French isn’t good enough to be able to judge it against the original, but in English Chéri was entirely successful, giving the story an elegiac and slightly satirical tone which worked perfectly. And so I began specifically to look out for other translations by Senhouse.

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