marcel barang

State of the art

In English on 18/06/2012 at 8:54 pm

Yesterday, for the first anniversary of my bilingual blog featuring Thai short stories in English translation, the number of subscribers jumped to a round 200, and the number of visits reached 53,500. (Over 38,000 visits and 48 subscribers for this blog, which is two and a half years old.)

So far 27 short stories have been featured, and another three are in the pipeline: ‘Bangkok’ by Chart Korbjitti, whose French version you’ve just read here; ‘Mind your own business’ by Fon Fafang; and ‘I wish I were a skunk instead of you lot’ by Natthakarn Limsathaporn. (It’d be a good idea if the latter two authors contacted me as I need their permission to publish. Thanks in advance to any reader who could put them in touch with me – barang at – or vice versa.)

[So far, I’ve translated some eighty Thai short stories into English, not counting novellas. When I reach a round hundred, I have a dream of publishing them as one single volume of, say, a thousand pages. Any takers? A kinkier version would be to make a selection of just 69 of them: come on, Kensington Books, what d’ya say?]

Today’s nice surprise is that I’m being asked for permission to reproduce translations into French I made (for a lark and a need to keep my mother tongue tingling) of four songs by Leonard Cohen as part of a project book on the latter. Permission granted.

Last week’s nice surprise was that I was asked by a regional literary magazine for permission to republish my recent English translation of Win Lyovarin’s ‘Rainbow days’. Permission granted. I reckon that Nai Win, as the author of the short story, will also grant his.

Oh, I keep forgetting: some time ago the local branch of a Japanese literary agency announced a friendly takeover of my former production of Thai novels in translation, currently available from in e-book form, to get regional publishers interested. My only brief is to let them proceed. Obviously some people are planning ahead in the perspective of the ASEAN common market to be less than three years from now. A little bird tells me a Malaysian publisher might be interested.

Some other time, I’ll write about those Thai books that keep piling up on my desk, both those I’ve read and must review and those, more numerous, I have yet to tackle. Sigh. Perhaps I should take a few, long overdue, days’ rest by some undeluged, untsunamied seaside. Got an address, someone?


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