The Vegetarian Translator Addresses Her Critics

Cover detail from The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Editor's Note:

Also in the news: Anne Rice finds a showrunner for her Vampire Chronicles, and we get our first peek at HBO’s “Fahrenheit 451.” It’s your Daily Blunt!

Deborah Smith’s award-winning translation of the Korean novel The Vegetarian caused an uproar with readers back home with readers who felt that, in addition to making numerous errors, Smith took too many liberties in her version of Han Kang’s text. In a lengthy response via the L.A. Review of Books, the translator confronts these criticisms head-on, opening up about the translation process and owning her mistakes, but also questioning those who have disregarded Kang’s approval of the finished book. “If I’d at least gotten closer to that impossible perfection, would critics have been forced to engage more with the book itself? Will they, now that Han and I have finally found time to correct the text for future printings?” she asks, theorizing: “Perhaps, perhaps not, given that some of what was filed under ‘mistake’ was actually just difference.”

We’ve got good news for fans of Anne Rice’s vampire novels: showrunner Bryan Fuller is attached to a television adaptation of the cherished series. With that comes some bad news in the form of anxiety over Fuller’s departure from “American Gods” after just one season – while it’s technically already been renewed, no one knows who’ll be helming it, and key cast members such as Gillian Anderson have already begun wandering away. And as The AV Club points out, Fuller also departed Star Trek: Discovery before that series got fully underway. Can he be seduced into sticking with Rice’s night-creatures long enough to bring them out of the darkness?

Meanwhile, HBO is prepping us for their “Farenheit 451” movie, which will scorch us this spring thanks to leads Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon. The photos they’ve released hint at the look and feel of the future first envisioned by Bradbury back in the early ’50s. If moving pictures are more your thing, then go look at the trailer, which revels in images of book-immolation.

Not only are all our fictional dystopias coming true at once, they’re also all being adapted to the screen. Philip K. Dick fans have a lot to chew on this year with “Electric Dreams,” Amazon’s anthology show (not unlike “Black Mirror”) that draws inspiration from the author’s less frequently explored works, featuring talent like Anna Paquin, Terrence Howard, Steve Buscemi, and Janelle Monåe. This series debuts today, so there’s no waiting involved – just passive media consumption at the altar of our tech overlords. Enjoy!