Friday, April 27, 2012

Fiction in translation

This time I'd like to write on something from a wholly personal perspective (not that I haven't inserted the personal perspective before - I definitely have - but this time I'm not just making idle side comments).

I've wanted to say something on the Anglocentric or rather English-writing-centric nature of my blog so far. I feel like there is much left to be explored when it comes to literature or anything fictional but I'm bound by the need for translation and will remain so unless I learn multiple languages. And the way my life seems to be going, I'm only likely to end up with a smattering of each that I'm constantly coming into contact with (Japanese, German, French and the like), but no real fluency in any but English. One day I might get the spare time or chance to travel that is needed to learn a language properly.

The whole situation honestly makes me wish I could live multiple lives. I can really see why people are drawn in by the idea of immortality despite its complete impracticality for the world and our own minds. The desire to know is great but the flesh is weak and will not last long enough.

Similarly, and I've been known to say this as a joke on occasion but this is honest and true, I and going to be massively pissed when I kick the bucket half way through a book because I'll never know what happened in the end. Argh! The frustration of not being able to live long enough to read all the works I'd like has me gnashing my teeth but this, this is the worst scenario. So yes, I've requested the hubby - if he lives longer than me - read the end of the story to me anyway. He's requested things related to heavy metal music so fair's fair in morbid city.

My bucket list:
Read everything.
Watch everything.
Discover lots and lots.

Anyway, I'm a fan of manga and anime although I need them translated, foreign films of all sorts (except probably romance - again) from everywhere but I need subtitles to completely understand - I have been known to sit and watch ones without subtitles just to see how much I can comprehend from action alone - and the odd translated book that makes it to the shelves of my bookstores.

Perfume being a good example, which was originally published in German as Das Parfum. I've loved the story in Perfume since I first picked it up when I was in year 11 or year 12 (the end of high school for those not Australian). It had been written in 1985 but I don't know when it was translated or originally appeared in bookstores around here. Suffice it to say that the cover scored me a lot of certain types of looks as it was this one: 

I ended up reading it 3-4 times in quick succession (for me anyway, which means I read other books in between and this was read 3-4 times over two or so years - I remember stories too well so rereading before I've forgotten something is a bit boring) and during one read I managed to make a prospective love interest do the double take over the cover. Hehe, if you can't handle a cover like this then you're in trouble for close-mindedness as far as I'm concerned. But then, maybe it was that he thought I wasn't the type to read something with a cover like this. See? You do get judged by the covers of the books you're reading. They do make people see you in a whole different light.

Oh, and speaking of German writers, try reading these: 

Walter Moers: One of my favourite authors ever.
Oh, I wish I could, I wish I might... ah, it sucks I don't have this imaginary world as my own to play with. Oh well, I have my own little worlds in the making.

My last few crazes were and are Asian horror and westerns (plenty come out of Japan, China and Korea), anime and manga (I prefer Japanese styles but have read other similar styles). Enough that I'm running out of translated or subtitled works in manga that I'm interested in and enough that about 2 years back I exhausted the resources for Asian horror too. There are only one or two left on the shelf I haven't gotten to because the sheer volume of violence means that they are for viewing when you're in the right mood. I don't mind watching slayage any day but the extended and rather graphic torture scenes do require you to have a certain amount of mental fortitude about you when you first press play. Don't worry though, I'll watch them soon enough. And I am still searching for that Japanese horror where the little girl is super freaky. I just haven't found it yet. Though I am having fun re-watching so many along the way.

So, the original point I wanted to say: in posts such as listings of comics made into films, the comics in question are English-writing-centric. Besides, most manga fanatics wouldn't like me lumping manga in with comics. They are distinct in certain ways even if they are of the same art form. Like wood sculptures and brass moulding. You end up with a sculpture but the way you got there and what is used to construct it is different.

So for fun and a bit of blood and slaughter give this manga-to-movie a whirl. No, there aren't any slinky costumed girls prancing about so if you were dying for that then you'll just have to handle bloodshed instead (I have to say, in manga and anime the violence is not nearly as censored as in comics or cartoons. In most comics or cartoons there is violence but so many characters pop back up from the dead or near dead without issue that it hardly counts. And those slain are more often than not the baddies. Not so here.)

Oh, and if you are dying for a girl prancing about in a slinky costume where the plot actually is enjoyable (yes, I realise this is a side issue at times) then try this one. It is actually very fun to watch even if you aren't just watching it for seeing her run about wearing mere (and I do mean mere) garbage bags: white, size small. They may as well be sandwich bags... Anyway, this one is great for a laugh.

As it says: Cutie Honey

So, at times and when I can I will add in a few bits and bobs to do with works in other languages, at least originally, because I just plain love them.

So forgive me for my English-writing-centric blog posts and try these fantastic comic/anime-to-movies for a bit of fun:

Forgive me yet? No? Then I'll just have to keep adding things as I find them... There is another in the Death Note series called L: Change The World.

Ken'ichi Matsuyama who plays L is such a good actor. Oooh and there's this one he acted in. You'll love this one:

Any fan of heavy metal will get a laugh out of Detroit Metal CityAnd those you're with. Especially if you're like most heavy metal fans and have that inner teddy bear personality. I'm not knocking it! I swear! I love the inner teddy bear. I married one.

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