By Colin McGregor
At the Librairie Bertrand on rue Saint-Pierre in Old Montreal this week, Montreal poet Sylvain Turner (right), author of the best-selling French-language poetry book In Extremis, and his English translator, Colin McGregor of Éditions TNT, made an appearance as part of the Salon du Livre de Montréal. In front of a modest but enthusiastic crowd they answered questions and explained the process of translating poetry, of the pratfalls of taking an author’s text and transforming it into another language while keeping the “feu sacré” of the original alive.
Not easy when the poetry is as full of allusions and allegories as is In Extremis – a dark and complex work that takes the reader on a Kafkaesque journey into madness, pain and suicide – but with glimmers of hope sprinkled throughout.
Go on the edtitionstnt.com website to find out how to order In Extremis in English or in French. And it is available at the Librairie Bertrand, a fully bilingual bookstore in Old Montreal.