Published on September 20th, 20130
Stephen Abell VS Multiples ed. by Adam Thirlwell
Adam Thirlwell’s latest project Multiples is a collection of short stories translated into various language by famous authors. For Stephen Abell in The Telegraph, any fun had by these literary pals was lost in translation:
“Most of the stories are about writers or writing, which betrays the motivation behind the whole project. Multiples is a chance for literary types to club together to celebrate their own literariness. The introduction and commentaries revel charmlessly in the deliberate linguistic ineptness of the writer: “my German is good enough to buy a railway ticket, but probably not to the right destination”; “I have schoolgirl French but that of a very dumb schoolgirl”. Or rejoice in the chumminess of the collaboration: “I finally met Alan Pauls. Famously handsome dude, cheerfully friendly too”; “Adam promised me a champagne bottle if I finished in record time”.
Smugness is the same in any language. And experimental fiction (the rule generally holds) is more fun to write than to read.”