Gigi and The Cat: Colette

★★★½

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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Chéri (1920): Colette

★★★★½

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Apologies again for flitting in and out rather a lot.  I’ve read quite a lot of books recently, but haven’t been doing much else; and I’ve just discovered the fantastic website LibraryThing, which has finally enabled me to catalogue my books and make a definitive record of what I actually own.  Hopefully it’ll enable me to avoid any duplicate purchases…  If you’re like me, and make a beeline for people’s bookcases on visiting their houses, feel free to take a look at my own collection here.

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