Robyn Marsack talks about the first ever translation of travel writer, Nicolas Bouvier’s So It Goes into English.
This collection of his shorter writing is from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. In the Aran Isles in mid-winter, he glories in the extremities of the wind outside while inside, feverish, he is enchanted by local tales which hum like a kettle on the fire. In Xian, he pays homage to the civilised brilliance and understatement of his guide, while in Korea he experiences the unchanging beauty of the Buddhist temple at Haeinsa and is marked forever by his climb of volcanic Halla-San. And the roots of his interminable curiosity and amusement are traced back to his childhood reading, and to the bitter war he conducted at the age of eight to rid himself of his arch-nemesis, Bertha.
Robyn Marsack won the Scott-Moncrieff Prize in 1988 for her translation of Bouvier’s The Scorpion-Fish, and went on to translate his classic L’Usage du Monde / The Way of the World.
Edinburgh, EH8 9DB United Kingdom