- Déborah PIERRET WATANABE
Jacques ROUBAUD, Suiseisha, 2020.
Although Jacques Roubaud is not generally well known in Japan, as a member of the experimental literary group Oulipo, he is an author whose reputation is well established, both in his home country and internationally. His playful and inventive works have a strong following in certain circles, with works such as the idiosyncratic mystery novel La Belle Hortense (Our Beautiful Heroine) (translated by Kei Takahashi) and the Japanese translation by Jun-ichi
Tanaka of Jacques Roubaud’s Very Personal Guide to Tokyo. This work, The Loop, is the second part of a six-part series, The Great Fire of London. The original work consists of an atypical essay that includes autobiographical elements, historical elements and poetic attempts, all done through an intricate structure that is not linear, but rather freely branching. Although the Japanese translation of this massive text runs to an overwhelming 500 pages filled with 2 columns of text, the translator’s extraordinary ability is evident in the way the prose is driven along without ever boring the reader. The vast world of the works of Roubaud, which could be described as both expansive and naturalistic, is smoothly transmitted through Mr. Tanaka’s translation. The transparency and poignancy of the text also made it a great translation of the poet’s work. Roubaud’s The Loop, which is both free in its structure and ingenious in its creativity, is set to be a great source of inspiration for young Japanese artists filled with the urge to create. Our hope is that this award will serve as a bridge for such readers.
For the above reasons, the 27th Konishi Foundation Japanese-French Translated Literature Award will be awarded to Jun-ichi Takana’s translation of Jacques Roubaud’s The Loop (Suiseisha, 2020).
Déborah PIERRET WATANABE
”The Witch of the west is dead”
NASHIKI Kaho, Éditions Picquier, 2021.
Translated by Deborah Pieret-Watanabe, NASHIKI Kaho, L'Été de la sorcière is a fluent, enjoyable read. The translator herself has carefully considered what style and rhythm to use in order to reproduce the atmosphere of the original work, and her choices have paid off. The talent of the translator, which is demonstrated through this translation, gives us hope that she will make a significant contribution to the translation of Japanese literature in France in the future. As such, the French Selection Committee has decided to award the Encouragement Prize of the Konishi Foundation's 27th Japanese-French Translated Literature Award to Deborah Pierre-Watanabe’s translation of Nashiki Kasho, L’ Été de la sorcière (The Witch of the West is Dead), Editions Picquier, 2021.