In the third year of my website’s existence I would like to thank readers for all the emails providing their thoughts and opinions, and publishers for expressing their wish to work with me. I heartily thank you all for your insightful comments and questions. I do my best to individually respond to all email messages I receive. Since some of the questions get repeated a lot of times, however, I have decided to put a FAQ tab with most frequently asked questions answered below.
Q: Your website presents a number of books yet to be published. When will they be available?
A: Translators and readers alike must realise that publishing a book is a time-consuming business. At times it may take longer than usual, for numerous reasons which are totally out of translators’ hands because it is always the publisher who sets the publication date. So, I invite you to follow the publishers’ announcements, and if there is a book you are specifically interested in please send a query straight to the given publisher who most certainly will advise you. Personally, I can assure you that my website is updated on a regular basis and contains factual information.
Q: Some types of literature do not comprise any books. Is this some kind of glitch?
A: No, it is not a glitch of any kind. Recently, my website has been slightly remodelled and my webmaster has set some types of literature in advance. I invite you to visit my website more often, and follow the updates.
Q: Your output is pretty impressive, both as a translator and an editor. Do you prefer one thing to another?
A: I am still active in both fields, however it cannot be denied that lately I have been more into translations, really. But I never turn down an interesting offer – whether it is a translation or editing job.
Q: You have edited translations from Polish to English. Is this tougher than editing texts in your mother tongue?
A: When you are bilingual it does not matter which language you are translating from, or what language you are editing in. That is why I can guarantee first class professional quality regardless of what the language is.
Q: Aren’t you tired of translating book series?
A: I enjoy translating both standalone novels and book series. You could be bored to death by a few-pages-long short story and vice versa – you can look forward to the tenth book in the series. What counts most, in my opinion, is taking on books that you value highly and „feel”, so to speak.
Q: Sometimes, back cover texts have very little to do with the actual book. Don’t you think it’s not very fair on readers?
A: A translator is an author only to a certain extent. Our job is to translate from one language to another. I am afraid the same goes for back cover texts, which content is decided on the level of marketing departments.
Q: Not so long ago everybody went public with their favourite books. I wonder what your list was?
A: I do not think I have such a list… There might be a list of books which were very important to me at a certain age. Books which made a huge impression on me and somehow shaped me. Books which stuck in my mind, even though I moved on… If I were to come up with such a list it might be as follows:
1. Maria Krüger, Carolly
Because this book is a proof that even in the omnipresent drabness there is always a blue gleam of hope and that the Philomena-type women not always get the upper hand, theoretically at least.
2. Henry Kuttner, The Hogben series; The Galloway Gallegher stories
Because this is SF at its best: great ideas, good writing, and a warped sense of humour, not unlike mine. And also because it is a reminder to everyone that otherness and genius exact their price.
3. Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Because with some books, the timing must be just right. And to fully appreciate some translations, one simply has to read the original.
4. Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions; The Sirens of Titan; Slaughterhouse-Five
Because that is life – in all its forms.
5. Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Because some books need to be read all over again. And absurdities should be eliminated always and everywhere.
6. Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher series
Because 'Among other nations let it always be known / That the Poles are not geese, have a tongue of their own*.' Besides, it is hard not to re-read the author, whom one had come to love for his short stories and whose English translations one would copy-edit in the not-too-distant future.
* Mikoś, Michał J. Polish Renaissance Literature. An Anthology. Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers, 1995, p. 37.
7. Martin Davies, The Conjuror’s Bird
Because it is hard to forget one’s first translation which was so much more than an exercise, especially when one recommended the book for publication in the first place and put one’s heart and soul into it.
8. Agatha Christie, An Autobiography
Because there are books one had unfortunately missed and luckily found before it was too late. Because reading a good autobiography is not a case of voyeurism but a display of humility.
9. Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Because one’s job can bring undiluted joy. Because there are authors who really have something to say; and say it in such a way that it takes one’s breath away.
10. Magdalena Grzebałkowska, The Beksinskis: a dual portrait
Because it is always good to confirm one’s beliefs, and even to lose one’s delusions, along with exceptional people whom one came to value and respect greatly in their own lifetime.