I recently started to read William's book in english but i am used to his french style. I just wonder if it's just me or if french is suiting his style more thant english. Here is an example first in french then in english :
Son portable serrÃ© sous le bras comme la coquille de quelque espÃ¨ce marine modeste mais peu chanceuse, Shinya Yamakazi fend la marÃ©e vespÃ©rale des anonymes aux parapluies pliÃ©s s'engouffrant, sur un staccato de chaussures noires, dans le cÅ“ur sans air de la station.
Through this evenings tide of faces unregistered, unrecognized, amid hurrying black shoes, furled umbrellas, the crowd descending like a single organism into the stations airless heart, comes Shinya Yamazaki, his notebook clasped beneath his arm like the egg case of some modest but moderately successful marine species.
Any other french readers on this forum?
I'm a French reader
The translator, Jean Bonnefoy, has added some of his own ideas, and skipped some of WG's.
This could explain why the style can be found "better" in French : not because the language is better suited for cyberpunk, but because the French translation is a variation added by the work of a second author (the translator) who doesn't just translate.
For exemple : in the quote you gave, WG tells the crowd flows to the station, like a single organism. This detail isn't mentioned by Bonnefoy, because he deemed the sentence would become too heavy.
But on the other hand, he uses a lot of "complicated" words who are not present in WG's text.
I like the French version, but now that I tasted the original, I prefer staying with it.
Well, in fact french readers can access to two different Gibson's books and i'm quite enjoying it. The original style is more accurate and the french style seems to me more poetic, closer in a sense to some japanese authors.
The translator of All tomorrowr's parties is Philippe Rouard and he did a great job. I sometimes read and re-read somes sentences just for the melodic pleasure.
It is not so often than the french translation is nice to read, if you have a look to Lord of the Rings in french, you are losing the essence of the book. It's not the case with William's work.
This has been discussed before, and I can only agree with you.
I lent my french Neuromancer to a friend, who enjoyed it, but found it quite heavy with uber-poetic sentences. I think he would have felt it easier to read if he understood English.
WG has a really direct poetic style. I don't know how to explain that, but I feel it is a bit unbalanced by the French poetic syntax (I don't say it's important... it's just how I feel it)
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