Phantom of the Opera
Gaston Leroux, Kobunsha Classics New Translation Collection, 2013
Mr. Atsushi Hiraoka, translator, in the span of 4 decades, holds achievements in delivering more than 70 volumes of translated work to the world. This work, while retaining the air of the original novel written during the golden age, is outstanding for having a translation that proceeds fluidly and is easy to read, and thus demonstrates Mr. Hiraoka’s artisan-like skill at every turn. He has comprehended the space that is the stage called the opera house, and is thorough in replacing the technical terms with their Japanese equivalent, and he has succeeded in letting us discover once again the fascinating author that is Leroux while we safely surrender to the story. Even though he devoted all of his efforts into his craft, it is a wonderful professional piece of work that doesn’t burden the reader at all and this is where I saw that the selection committee was of one accord. For the above reasons, translator Mr. Atsushi Hiraoka was chosen to be awarded the 21st Japanese-French Translated Literature Award for Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera” as a splendid work of translation that demonstrated to the utmost the skill he has accumulated through years of experience.
Collected Tales of Spiritual Awakening
Kamo no Chomei, Le Bruit du temps, 2014
A deep understanding of the Japanese language and a rich expressive power in the French language. Jacqueline Pigeot possesses both elements that do not become lacking when it comes to Japanese-French translation. The work “Récits de l’éveil du cœur” or “Collected Tales of Spiritual Awakening”, Kamo no Chomei, Le Bruit de temps, 2014 was made possible as a masterpiece of these two elements working together. This work displays without reservation, Pigeot’s rich academic knowledge, intimacy with Buddhist research, and understanding of classical Japanese. The aspect that is obvious in this translation possesses the deep knowledge to correctly understand the “Collected Tales of Spiritual Awakening” and making use of a keen sense of intuition, as well as attention to detail, to be able to translate perfectly in French. Thanks to Ms. Pigeot’s power of expression, this work does not merely remain, as a classic in scholarly textbooks, but it has also become a work that is dynamic. In addition, the charm of the original work lies in its humorous tone and in the scenes that jolt our emotions, but even in the translated work, the original work is duplicated, and each compiled tale shines vividly. As was said before, this work is without a doubt a superior translation. Consequently, the selection committee of the French side has resolved to award the 21st Japanese-French Translated Literature Award to the Kamo no Chomei, “Collected Tales of Spiritual Awakening”, Le Bruit du temps 2014 translated by Jacqueline Pigeot.