Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lost in a translated bookstore

I guess this can go along with my previous post about Americans not reading enough... but I doubt I'll make a connection.

Jia and I went to pick up a copy of Kite Runner in Chinese at Book City. Of course, we found it in the foreign books section--which is fairly large considering how much space is dedicated to literature in general (not much). I thought it fascinating to see so many foreign titles translated into Chinese. There were a couple new Stephen King novels and loads of classics from all over Europe, as well as plenty of 20th Century titles. I really wish they had such a selection in the English-language section (instead they have poorly translated Chinese poetry and abridged English classics).

I was a little shocked by the sight of a few titles, however. I found a copy of The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce and a couple works of George Orwell (not 1984, which hasn't been translated to Chinese). I was much more surprised by On the Road by Jack Kerouac and what appeared to be a collection of the Beat's poetry. I wondered how the government censors allowed On the Road to be published due to its content. I was also a little perplexed by how they could have translated his poetry--hell, I don't understand some of his poetry and I've taken classes taught by his friends and contemporaries.

This gives me a new goal for my Chinese education. I am determined to read On the Road in Chinese. I'd also like to attempt Lolita in Chinese since I saw a while back being sold on the shelves of Wal-Mart.

On an semi-unrelated topic: I hate Norton Anti-Virus. It's making my computer slower than a retarded senator. I decided to upgrade it earlier this week since my subscription ran out, and now it's slower than ever. It took me 15 minutes to open a Word document. When I go home in February, I'm going to pick up some different software and save myself the agony of impatience.


Stuart said...

How about you pick yourself up a Mac and save yourself the headache.

Peter said...

Norton really sucks. All people I know who have Norton or have tried it agree that it really slows down their system and generally is crap.

I always avoided it and accepted that AVG is better in all regards even though the interface is ugly and the updates are less.