... in TRANSPOSING: ... the story between translation and adaptation - DSP - DEAD SOUL PERSUASION


By Nikolai Gogol and Jane Austen

Transposed from the Russian and English by Henry Whittlesey

Original titles: МЕРТВЫЕ ДУШИ and PERSUASION

Excerpt of chapter transposed from Dead Souls

The banker sat down without removing his jacket of fine wool sewed by Chinese factory workers and sold in expensive New York boutiques. After He had thumbed through the menu, the waitress took his order, but more than the water, a glass of wine and roast beef, pees and rice, He was interested in what The waitress could tell him about some local banalities: what other restaurants She recommended, and what other attractions and whether The amusement park was worth it. And the waitress replied as usual: “Oh, it’s, like, great.” It ‘s the same in New York and L.A. – Many nice visitors cannot help but talk with the waitress, but The conversation only sometimes proceeds beyond pleasantries.

Yet the banker did not just ask standard questions: He also asked her opinion of the mayor, speaker of the state house, deputy mayor – and went through a nice list of important politicians before getting even more precise, almost passionate, as He ran through prominent entrepreneurs Who had mansions on the beach, Who had a place in the city, what kind of reputation They had, and how often She saw them in the restaurant. Then He asked about the state of affairs: had The recession not caused a rise in suicide, depression, bipolar, borderline, - and all out of more than just idle curiosity.

The gentleman had excellent manners and only picked his nose behind his handkerchief when no one was looking. I don’t know how He knew this, but his finger always shot up it like a burst of water from a hydrant. These completely consistent habits ensured that the restaurant staff considered the banker to be your ordinary Joe so They could be sure about the postprandial icing: here’s the bill.

Excerpt of chapter transposed from Persuasion

“You know, Walter,” said Mr. Shepherd one Saturday grilling, presently flipping a burger, “the time is quite good for us. This housing boom is bringing all these wealthy bankers south-west. They will all be wanting upscale homes that the company remunerates. Could not be better, Walter, for having a choice of tenants, very responsible ones. They don’t care what the cost is. If a wealthy banker were to come our way, Walter –“

“He'd be a very lucky man, Mr. Shepherd, that's all I have to say. A jackpot, he'd be hitting the jackpot with Kellynch; the jackpot of all jackpots no matter how often he’s won in Vegas.”

Mr. Shepherd laughed as He flipped another burger, rolled a hotdog, and then added:

“For doing business, bankers are a very good sort. I know a little about their attitude toward business, and I can readily tell you that they have very deep pockets, and are probably more desirable than any other group of tenants. So, what I’m saying is that some rumor of your plan may spread – it cannot be ruled out – because we know how likely it is that private talk and a good reputation will lead to something – prominence has its price. I might not meet that many potential parties, since I am a little older, but others may come into contact with more eligible people. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if someone applied, and I would certainly recommend any of our bankers – and will be at your disposal immediately for assistance.”

Mr. Shepherd, in his anxiety to talk up bankers as tenants, had been informed by Ann that Her old friend Joseph Leaddus might be interested. And the very first application for the house was from Leaddus, whom Shepherd soon met by attending the dinner party at the mayor’s and confirmed the report from the rather partial source. By the call that He quickly made to Mr. Walter, Leaddus, born and raised in New York City, very successful, needed a home in the county for the foreseeable future, and had looked at some advertized places nearby, but They had not been right, had accidentally heard from his daughter that Their place might be available, and accidentally ran into Mr. Shepherd at the mayor’s where, after a nice talk, He had voiced as much interest in the place as a man Who knew it only by description could feel; and given Mr. Shepherd, in his explicit account of himself, absolute proof of his being a most responsible, trustworthy tenant.

“And who is Joseph Leaddus?” was Mr. Walter’s first inquiry.
Mr. Shepherd said he was a managing director from a New York bank; and Ann, after a little pause which followed, added:

“Dad, he’s my old friend. From New York, don’t you remember him? His company transferred him here.”

“Joe? From high school?” rasped Walter. “That timid boy you were friends with?”