Book Review | The negative program announcements of a man approaching old age and death are never published too much

Samuel Beckett is well translated in Finland but published confusingly.


Samuel Beckett: The Missing Word – 5 Works from 1980-1989. Caj Westerberg, Finland. Work. 122 s.

Samuel Beckett: Society (Company). Anni Sumari, Finland. Aviador. 96 s.

Classic translation often declared a “cultural work”.

The gesture is cynical or just careless. After all, there is no need to make money in a cultural work, for the translator and publisher live by the breath of the gods of literature.

It would also be bad for a critic to look at the quality of a significant Finnish translation. The act makes itself important. One should be grateful for every gift from the big world.

The peripheral sense of inferiority lives in circular expressions.

Poet Caj Westerbergin merits Irish Nobel laureate Samuel Beckettin (1906–1989) as a translator are indisputable. Novels Malone dies and Indescribable are among the key works in Beckett’s production.

Westerberg has also translated Beckett’s poetry into Finnish. Assortment How to say (2006) the title text expresses its case unadorned even when viewed on the scale of old Beckett.

I would not dare to call a two-page poem a work, but publisher Teos and Westerberg think differently. The Missing Word – 5 works from 1980-1989 ends How to say re-publication of the poem, and the changes made to the translation are not great.

Fresh Of the four other works in the Beckett collection, two have previously been published in Finnish Anni Sumarin translated. Like published a novel Poorly seen badly said in 2002.

Company appeared with informative afterwords in two miniatures and Sumar in the second year. Vibrations still The fragment has been translated by Westerberg himself Shakes (2006).

Hence Missing word gives Finns an unprecedented Beckett for one miniature, or twenty loosely folded pages.

Worst of all is an important body of text, known for its “fail better” phrase. Still, the question is: Why such a publication? Is it a scarce cultural act?

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With Sumar competition and the recycling of old translations would be more justified if Of the missing word not missing a lot of words.

Beckett published more prose and drama texts in the 1980s, and the decade does not seem logical at all. An entire late Beckett with a comprehensive preface and reference would be a more sustainable solution.

If Finnish Beckett translators joined forces, a wider selection would be possible. Sumari has already translated Short stories in a besieged room (2000).

For the time being, we have to deal with shards thrown overlapping.

Fortunately, they are not incisions.

I’m following in the present tense of the narrative a person lies in the dark. It is “unclear how the current situation has come about”. Moving the hand feels like a radical gesture at the zero point of being battled by Beckett. Sounds are heard and only the flow of memories seems to refer to life.

Both translators know to mention in their afterwords that I’m following the retreats are firmly autobiographical. Beckett, like I’m following protagonist, was born on Good Friday and developed as a child a dangerous way to fall from a tall tree in the hope that the branches would slow down:

“He’s been a very naughty boy.”

Company originally published in 1980 in English and soon translated into French by Beckett himself. Sumari says he has taken advantage of both versions, Missing word only listed in the original listing Compagnie.

Differences in translations can be illustrated by comparison I’m following implementation of the most iconic sentence:

Beckett: “Can the crawling Creator crawling in the same create dark as his creature create while crawling?”

Westerberg: “Can a gnawing creator who gossip in the same created darkness as the creature he created create when he gossip?”

Sumari: “Can a crawling creator in the same darkness of creation as his creation crawl everything?”

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Beckett’s answer is: no. Just tapping – or crawling – is challenging enough.

The question of better translation is more difficult to answer, which reinforces the impression of wasting resources. While waiting, one of the translators could have relied on Beckett’s correspondence, for example.

And does Westerberg have any other reason to put a name to it Mal vu mal dit (French) / Ill Seen Ill Said (English) format Poorly seen poorly said than Sumarin Badly seen separation?

Power game speculation therefore: Poorly seen poorly said is the strongest in the mini-novel set.

The narration, which proceeds in the third person, observes an old woman spending time at and near the tomb. Danten and Milton the intermediate space created in the spirit also openly refers to the events of the gospels:

“At the skull site. One afternoon in April. After taking it down. ”

Poorly seen poorly said denser and gloomier prose is seldom encountered. This is what happens when Samuel Beckett strips him of his black humor.

Biographer James Knowlson according to Beckett worked alone Worst of all seven months from the first draft. “It made me clear,” the author himself commented.

Worst of all contains a comforting, albeit transient, picture of an elderly man and child walking hand in hand. By the way, Beckett focuses on conveying paradox-based, pounding sentences about the impossibility of creating sentences:

“Whose words? Ask in vain. Or in vain not if impossible to know. I can’t say. ”

The negative program announcements of a man approaching the age of eighty and death are never over-published.

Vibrations still and How to say remain Missing word compared to the other three works as curiosities.

In a larger sample, this would not be a problem. Franz Kafkan From the compiled reports there is a refreshing one-page page that has been forgotten in the past. “As works” Transformation or The hungry artist alongside the force of two or three fragments would be more difficult to comprehend.

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There is no room for tattered cultural activities on the edge of Europe. Samuel Beckett would have deserved a more coherent publishing policy. Tomorrow assembled will be?

The author is a writer and critic.


One and a half pounds of Joan Didion’s essays would help those in need

Fragmented and inconsistent translation publishing is in Finland Samuel Beckett wider problem. The difficulties culminate especially in masters outside of long prose and lyricism.

Karisto published two collections of short stories in the 1980s From John Cheever (1912–1982), ”in the suburbs From Chekhov”. Only a higher profile edition would elevate Cheever to the position it deserves in the North, i.e. Hemingwayn chest and past.

Joan Didionin (1934–2021) mourning books can be found on paperback shelves, but the essence of the production, essays and reportages, cries out for lack of Finnishness.

Fluctuating treatment has also been received George Orwell (1903–1950). Published last year by Oppian Publishing Days in Burma suffers amateur implementation.

Essayist Timo Hännikäinen selection of Asian prose You and the atomic bomb (Kiuas, 2021) is a higher quality but very small extension Jukka Kemppisen to Orwell’s essays translated.

Translation literature in a gloomy market situation, investing in quality and clarity might not be a bad idea.

The level of ambition of essay and short prose translations could be raised towards the heights of the best of classical poetry translations. Published by Frog Rimbaud– Yes Baudelaire-reds will serve Finnish readers for the very future.

Brickstones today tend to be criticized for masculine bulging. Perhaps one and a half kilograms of Didion’s essays would help those in need.

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