Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Rachel Von Kooij in Dublin

It was a very international evening: a Dutch author writing in German and living in Austria came to Dublin to celebrate the release of the translation into English of her novel set in Spain.
The launch took place at the Residence of the Austrian Embassy and, although there was no mulled wine or anything christmassy on account of it being still November, it was a warm and lovely event with lots of familiar faces as well as some new ones and some in between faces too (they're the faces of people you've been chatting to for weeks via email but have actually never met).
Rachel Von Kooij read from Bartolomé, The Infanta's Pet in Siobhán Parkinson's translation for Little Island, before answering Marian Keyes' questions together with Siobhán.
Bartolomé is the story of a crippled boy in 16th-century Spain who gets spotted by the Infanta who wants him to become her human pet. When asked if she had considered watering down the cruelty and the occasional violence apparent in some of the scenes, Rachel replied:
"No. Not at all. With children, you can do violence and cruelty with words, because the images that the words will conjure up are images that the child can cope with. If you tell the tale of Hansel and Gretel, the child will come up with an image of the witch and an image of the oven that he or she can cope with. But it doesn't work with film, where you impose an adult-made image on the child viewer."
You can read the first chapter of Bartolomé here and a review over there.

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