I've been told that Tim Pratt's written a very positive review of To Charles Fort, With Love for Locus magazine. However, I likely won't be able to see it until next week sometime, as Borders here is atrociously slow about getting new issues of Locus out. My agent is hoping that the starred review in PW will translate to sales of foreign-language editions of the book (okay, that pun really was unintentional). I'm kind of wary of translations, though. Sure, the money would be nice and welcome, and it'd be kind of cool to see those stories in French or Italian or Czech. But they wouldn't really be the stories that I wrote. They'd be a rough approximation of my stories in another language. It is not possible to divide a story from the language in which it was written. The language is the story. By placing it in another language, the story changes inevitably, even if only by slight degrees. Part of me is protective and almost feels that translation violates the integrity of my work and is a thing to be avoided. There are novels and authors that I've never truly been able to enjoy because I'm not reading them in their original language: Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Homer, Gabriel García Márquez, Tolstoy, etc. It's a long list. It's not that I don't appreciate the translations, just that I understand, a priori, that I'm missing the true text, that the true text is not accessible to me and has been obscured behind a translation.
Yesterday afternoon, I signed my name. I don't know how many times. I signed my name from about two 'clock until five. So, the signature sheets for both To Charles Fort, With Love and Frog Toes and Tentacles are done. Never again will I sign signature sheets for two books on the same day.
Shortly after the U.S. invaded Iraq, I stopped watching the news and swore to stop talking about its content online (see, for example, my blog entry for Wednesday, April 02, 2003). I also stopped reading newspapers. I still follow science news online, but that's about it. I still catch an occassional news story, here or there, mostly by accident, but, generally, I've found I'm a slightly saner person if I just stay away from "the news." Oh, I know there are lots of good arguments as to why this is a wrongheaded thing to do, purposefully keeping myself in the dark, as it were. I just can't stand to watch the awful, sickening carnival tilt and sway of the human world on a daily basis, nor can I trust that any of the sources from which this information is flowing are not strongly biased in one direction or another. So I try to keep my eyes averted. I used to be a news junky, and now I keep my eyes averted. I know how bad it is out there. I can't really see how much more educated in the depravity of mankind I need to be. I can't see the point in it. Nonetheless, stories slip over the fence now and then, second- and thirdhand. They rarely do more than confirm that I've done the right thing, the thing that's right for me.
A man beats his three-year-old son to death so he won't grow up gay. That's a good one. The death toll in Iraq, that's another. W signs CAFTA and proclaims he wants "Intelligent Design" taught in American schools.. At least that last one's good for a hollow laugh. Anyway, this was on my mind this morning, for some reason. I don't talk politics or "current events" in the blog/LJ nearly as often as I think about them, because the conversations always seem as futile as watching manufactured news published and broadcast to generate ratings and profit and control. But it was on my mind this morning, and the possibility that I might be wrong. I know that ignorance isn't bliss. I know that knowledge is power. I know. So do the evil men who run the world.
See. That's why I don't talk politics. Or watch the frelling news.
I'm not "looking the other way." I'm just not looking.
Ash: Last word. I can't lie to you about your chances, but...you have my sympathies.