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Book Review

Mireille Gansel trans. Ros Schwartz (Les Fugitives)

This English PEN award-winning memoir/treatise is a journey around Europe, to Vietnam and Israel and through the hows and whys of translation. Gansel’s Jewish family suffered under the Nazis and she later grew up in post-war France, with an early curiosity about the world of words. She talks of Brecht and his wife, the East German poet Reiner Kunze, the Stasi, the Wall, Czechoslovakia and of years spent during the war in 1970s Hanoi working on an anthology of classical Vietnamese poetry – the first to be published in French since independence. If ethnology and poetry don’t speak to you, this will be lost in translation, but it‘s worth it just to learn about Nelly Sachs and her poetry on the Shoah and Eugenie Goldstern’s documentation of language in the Alps.

Price:£10.00. Info: (RLR)

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