Translating D. F. Wallace:

E Unibus Pluram:

Television and U.S. Fiction / Τηλεόραση κι Αμερικανική Λογοτεχνία


Here’s the translation in parts: / Ορίστε η μετάφραση σε μέρη:

Part I – Act Natural/Φέρσου Φυσικά

Part II – The Finger/Το Δάχτυλο

Part III – Meta-watching/Μέτα-θέαση

Part IV+Part V – Guilty Fictions+I Do Have a Thesis / Ένοχα Λογοτεχνήματα+Θέλω Όντως να Καταλήξω Κάπου

Part VI – Image Fiction/Λογοτεχνία Εικόνων

Part VII – Irony’s Aura/Η Αύρα της Ειρωνίας

Part VIII – End of the End of the Line/Τέλος του Τέλους της Γραμμής


I am immensely proud to have translated this glorious, creepy, mind-boggling, and deeply sensitive essay. In it, D.F. Wallace bypasses more conceptual layers of reality than any one of us could ever think of.

Many thanks to Culturebook.gr and my teacher and mentor T. Kotopoulos for hosting this translation; many thanks to the Wallace estate and their generosity for granting me publication rights.

Below are some thoughts.


TRANSLATOR’S THOUGHTS:

To the best of my (and my colleagues’) knowledge, this is the first translation of the essay ‘E Unibus Pluram’ in Greek. This makes me happy for two reasons. The first is pure vanity/childish bliss; the athlete’s joy of cutting the ribbon with the momentum of his body, if the race time was unspecified and the race track unknown.

The second is the pure magic one gets to experience when translating something previously untranslated. I didn’t know this. Never before had I seriously interacted with the Greek readership, and not at all in non-fiction terms. All my life my readings have been primarily in English, so I’d never thought about what it would be like to be unable to read something in English. (This had concerned me only passingly, when I wanted to share a reading with non-English-speaking friends and there was no translation available, or there was only a bad one.) But now, I realise that to translate something for the first time is to give a chance to your fellow natives to read what they previously couldn’t before. I’m probably overstating the importance of my deed, but I sincerely feel awe at that prospect.

Maybe it’s because this essay, in my opinion, is so necessary and true. And it has remained untranslated for 30 years. This probably has to do with the essay being impossibly long, dense, convoluted, and at times just weird, or simply because it speaks (or seems to speak) to American audiences. I know this won’t be a hit in Greece, or anywhere for that matter, since it’s an essay too academic in nature. I know most people won’t bother. No matter; 30 years is a long time to remain untranslated, and now the time has come. (God, I will be very embarrassed to discover some previous translation.)

The essay, as I’ve said, is pretty long, so its publication will be split in eight parts; one every fifteen days. See you at the finish line; wiser, weirder, and more concerned.

Love,

Manos


Published by Manos Apostolidis

Writer. Pharmacist on the side.

2 thoughts on “Translating D. F. Wallace:

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