Reading books that were originally written in other languages always leaves me wondering what I’m missing. This isn’t meant in any way to knock the abilities of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress’ translator Ina Rilke, or any other translator for that matter. I just wonder how much of the translation is like a game of telephone. I know the text is very close in meaning but it’s still not the same words with the same nuances chosen by the original author.
How much do you wonder what you might be missing by not reading a story in the language of the original telling? Do you think it even matters?
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress was also adapted by the author for a 2002 film. If you’ve seen it, what is your opinion of it? How true to the book is it? What scenes from the book would you really like to see on the big screen?