Monday, April 2, 2007

Ring - Koji Suzuki

The trouble with reading novels in translation is that it's not clear where the boundary lies between the original author and the translator. When all seems to work well, as with Philip Gabriel's translation of Haruki Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore", it can be ignored but in the present case I wonder how my dissatisfaction should be shared between Koji Suzuki and Robert B. Rohmer/Glynne Walley. Certainly there seem to be many extraneous Westernisms that don't sit comfortably in a novel so firmly set in Japan, both geographically and psychologically. One assumes these may be laid at the translators' door. That the novel fails to generate a sense of horror, in spite of reiterating frequently that the protagonist feels the pressure of impending doom is more difficult. Wherever the blame ultimately lies, the book fails to engage and the supposed mechanism of death is unconvincing.


No comments: