Year of a Hundred books – #99 Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of EverythingDavid Bellos


I’ve read a lot of books that have been translated into English this year, and some of them have really made me think about the mechanics of translation as it were. How accurately can you render true meaning, both linguistic and cultural in a different language? How can someone who only speaks English really understand the works of a Japanese, or Russian author, even when reading in translation? Is that a Fish in Your Ear? is an in-depth story of the history of inter-lingual communication, both written and spoken.

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Year of a Hundred books – #11 Piercing

PiercingPiercing, by Ryu Murakami


I honestly don’t know what drove me to pick this up. The blurbs compare it to J.G.Ballard and David Lynch, both of whom’s work has always seemed a bit too… weird, for me to want to experience. The same can definitely be said for Piercing.
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Poetry: All Rights Reserved

It does hurt.
Some fires are great.
But it is not necessary,
Is it possible?

I have almost
Followed the instructions of the

And who,
Killed and captured Warsaw’s Romany
A universal type.

Tell us
Now is the time.

There is anger,
When a court decides that persons notorious,
Sharing in implication.
Publically cleared.
Foolishness as coat of arms

Tell us.
Now is the time

And mark the shift,
A hundred and forty one lives were stolen.
Is it not persecution?

A half rotten pig,
Looking forward to
Scent of Freedom
In the blink of an eye?

Joined and accustomed
Nationally bound
The tears flow in the second half of your life,
Guess this possibility,
Style and grace.

Tell us
Now is the time

The Decemberists’ Shiny, put through a journey of the world’s languages on Bing Translate, edited slightly using MS Word’s synonym tool. Only word endings/plurals changed manually. Original Lyrics here.