Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry is the author of 13 plays, two collections of poetry, two collections of short stories, and six novels, including his latest, The Temporary Gentleman.

From Barry's Q & A with Allen Barra for The Daily Beast:

I’d like to confirm that you’re not planning on translating Gogol, are you?

No, I hadn’t considered it. Why do you ask?

Nabokov once complained about English translations of Gogol; they were so flat and colorless that he thought “None but an Irishman should ever try tackling Gogol.” Some—well, certainly me but also many others—consider you our finest prose writer. I thought you might like the job.

I’m flattered, but there’s others who should have done that before me.


The late Seamus Heaney, for one. He translated Beowulf into English, and I think he would have done well by Gogol.

Every time I meet an Irish writer, I find out that he knows just about every other Irish writer—not surprising when you consider that you’ve got—what?—maybe six to six-and-a-half million people on the whole island, and half of you are writers and poets …. Did you ever meet Seamus?

Yes, I did. He was delightful. He took great joy in displaying his Nobel Prize—kind of like a schoolboy showing off his prizes. He had a lot of other awards, too. One he was particularly proud of was...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue