Booktrust Review and Interview
James Smith from Booktrust reviews The White King on the site:
“GyÃ¶rgy DragomÃ¡n has succeeded in conjuring up not only a realistic voice for his young protagonist but also a sense of what it means to live in a country in which the state security services watch your every move and can take you away at any time”
The full review is here.
There is an interview as well, we talk about the book, and we look into the issue of translation:
I am interested in the fact that you are a translator from English into Hungarian, but that someone else translated your book into English. Can you explain how that feels?
I have done my share of translations, so I must tell you that being on the other side of the process was a marvellous feeling. I really appreciate my translatorâ€™s work, because I know very well how enormously difficult and challenging translation can be. Sometimes it is even more demanding than writing, as you have to take apart and recreate the original text in a matter of months, while you are subjected to the emotional weight of the text in a condensed way.For example when I was translating Beckettâ€™s Watt there was a moment when I felt that translation as such should be impossible, you can give all you have got, but it still wonâ€™t work. After a few days of utter depression I realized that my problems were not technical, but rather emotional, the despair emanating from the text was coming down on me. So translation made me live through a genuine moment of the beckettian ‘I canâ€™t go on, Iâ€™ll go on’ experience.
This is what translating a powerful text does to you, so I just cannot be grateful enough when people are dedicating months or even years of their lives to bringing my own text to another language.
Of course there are also moments of near epiphany, when you suddenly understand the deep structure of a story, or are granted a revelation of how the writer might have used subtle images for a gradual focus shift, or to create a larger metaphor, which might not be obvious when just reading…
For the full text go here.<p