Book Review

The Dump: Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

Title: Musashi
Author: Eiji Yoshikawa
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

OK, all you bitches who’ve been making fun of me all this age for having Musashi up on the sidebar for about year can quit now. I’ve finally admitted defeat. I’m about 245 pages into this monster, and I can’t stands it no more.

And by “it,” I mean “the most gawdawful translation job I have ever encountered this side of Kafka, and I’ve encountered some pretty shitty translations of Kafka.”

Seriously, every time I read a medieval Japanese character saying “Yeah,” “okay” or “all right,” I wanted to punch the translator in the crotch. I understand that rendering the language accurate in every way is impossible, and is, in fact, undesirable. And I understand that conveying the nuances of Japanese vernacular can be trying. But dude. Seriously. ENOUGH ALREADY.

I do hope to some day finish this. The day is not now. The story is too slow, and the translation is too…well, too crotch-punchy.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    But dude. Seriously. ENOUGH ALREADY.

    I feel your pain. I gave up on Finnegans Wake (after writing my master’s thesis on Ulysses). Sometimes the monster book must go, for whatever reason. Quality of life is important. I’m glad to see The Sandman in your TBR.

  2. 2

    Cool!  I’ve read all the books on your TBR list.  I’ll be interested in seeing what you think.

  3. 3
    fiveandfour says:

    I was just thinking about Finnegans Wake myself, Jennifer.  There’s a book by Joseph Campbell that works through the symbolism and I think I may need it before trying FW again.  I could probably do better than I think since it’s been about 15 years since I gave it a shot, but since I made it through about a paragraph the first time before fear took over (a record!), the scars are deep.

    Candy, people have been recommending the Sandman series to me for yonks (I loved American Gods and enjoyed Anansi Boys), but no one’s ever actually gone into any details about why I might like it – so I’m really interested to see that review.  ::Rubs hands together impatiently::

  4. 4
    Dee says:

    Candy—Just sending a pat on the back. I honestly don’t know how you held out this long. We watch horrid translations of anime and hubby can’t finish a 30 minute episode. (Dare I invoke “Crying Freeman”?) Find you some Cromartie High to read. :) At least there the yeahs and okays make sense, lol!


  5. 5
    Gabriele says:

    I hated Kafka even in the German original.

  6. 6
    Wry Hag says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only former English major who’s gagged on Joyce.  Now, how about Milton?

  7. 7
    Danielle says:

    Hey, fiveandfour, someone I know just got sucked into Sandman and wrote a really good summation of what’s to love about it here. (Post is non-spoilery, but I can’t vouch for the comments.)

  8. 8
    Ann Aguirre says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only former English major who’s gagged on Joyce.  Now, how about Milton?

    I was an English major, and I don’t think I’m a lunkhead because I dig Camus and Sartre. I’ve studied philosophy. I can debate determinism versus free will, calling on arguments from Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche and Descartes.

    I think I understand the English language pretty thoroughly, but Joyce still makes no sense to me. I feel like he makes the reader work excessively for debatable reward. It’s like he’s trying too hard to be erudite and inaccessible, and I call that pretension.

  9. 9
    desertwillow says:

    Candy, I’ve suffered through a few sucky translations myself. Arturo Perez-Reverte’s work is all translated from the spanish. The first book I read of his was kind of sloppy. It slowed down the story.

    But I’m glad to see you reading Sandman. I’ve read American Gods and Anansi Boys. I loved them! Now I’m reading Neverwhere. That’s going a little slow but I don’t think it’s Neil’s fault. You know, he’s kind of hot, don’t you think? Like a Geek God or something…

  10. 10
    fiveandfour says:

    Thanks, Danielle.  That’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been wanting to see – just a little explanation about why it’s supposed to be so great.  All I ever get is “Yeah, it’s good.  Yep – you should check it out.”  Sheesh!

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