This afternoon, Patti called me at work to tell me, “It’s here!”. And when I got home, there, sure enough, it was. We immediately started drawing parallels. Jack reminded me that Homer Simpson had found a box of Japanese soap in the dump with a strange Japanese version of himself on the label that he discovered was a major animated character. We talked about Bizarro Superman and, even more bizarre and àpropos, Bizarro Seinfeld.
But nothing was as odd as seeing my book Everyday Matters translated into Korean. Not just translated but painstakingly reproduced in Korean. The calligraphy, the rubber stamps, everything was done absolutely perfectly. It is such an unusual feeling to stand in my living room, loking over the journal pages I made right here, and to now see them in this other skin, one made on the other side of the planet and yet so in tune. I don’t know if I can fully explain the oddness of it all.
The wonderful translator, Suh Dongsoo, wrote to me several weeks ago:
I haven’t met you, but I feel like I am familiar with you.
Maybe that’s because I spent several months reading your book, and trying to feel like you, writing your sentences in Korean.
I really enjoyed translating your book. I was deeply moved by your book.
Right before I started translating your book, I had a very unhappy experience myself.
Maybe it wasn’t such a big disaster for other people, but I was very shocked by that experience, and was living with an empty heart, thinking how should I live from now on, everyday, every minute.
And then I met your book, and I felt so attached to the book.
I believe translating the book was something very important in my life.
I can’t forget one afternoon when I had to cry leaning over my computer translating a sentence.
I want to thank you for giving me the chance to translate this book.
Thank you very much.
How wonderful, and how lucky I am.
The book is apparently doing very well and is about to go into its second printing. And for those of you waiting for the 2nd printing of the book in English, I understand it will be ready in a just a few weeks.
Odder still, as readers of this blog may appreciate, was my discovery of this site, whose contents I don’t understand at all, apparently about my book.
I used Google to tranlate part of it and came up with the following:
Love hero unit of be picture lost chance ni that ley ring (Danny Gregory) It was born from Great Britain and when to 12 flesh moving in New York the State of Israel back and and until, the blood chu bug, Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia and Republic of Pakistan, it came and went enough. phu lin su then It studies a political science from the college, nothing after the that el the printed style of writing it eats and and it does not live to be in agony, about 20 it worked from year between advertisement industry. 1995 year wife phay the mote in subway accident the lower half of body after becomes disabled, it draws the picture, it started.
What a weird trip we’re on.