Friday morning. ‘I’m off.’ The Nymph is already half way out of the door before I look up. ‘Where are you going?’ I say slightly absent-mindedly. Frankly, right at this moment I don’t care that much about her movements.
I have my own problems. No 14 was supposed to have gone to the printers today. But in the morning I woke with a nagging feeling that I ought to look at the manuscript one last time – even though I’ve already done two rounds of editing. Furthermore the book has been sub-edited, set, and proof-read, but I worry that the text doesn’t yet gel.
‘You are stressed, I can see it from your pursed lips.’ Peirene replies. ‘And all you will do is revise the text for the rest of the day. And if I make a tiny noise, you’ll snap at me. So I am off to seek some fun elsewhere.’
I look up from the pages with a sigh. I don’t need a Nymph tantrum. She explains: ‘I’m going to Jen’s. She is scouting out new Roaming Store locations and she asked me to accompany her.’ Peirene waves at me and exits. Pleased that the Nymph is making herself useful, I return to my work.
A few hours later, my life looks brighter. I am happy that I followed my instinct. Editing translations is like peeling an artichoke. Each round of revision brings us closer to the essence of the original and improves the English text.
I take a break. While the kettle is boiling I check my messages. It’s the Nymph. She can barely talk, she is so excited.
‘Have you… have you seen twitter? I am trending. Over 70 responses in the last hour alone. Fame at last. Call us back.’
I open the internet browser on my computer. And true! Twitter has gone Peirene mad.
I call Jen. ‘Wow! This is amazing. What has happened?’
In the morning Jen had linked to a BBC book list of 100 must-read classics on our facebook page. A couple of our twitter fans commented on how anglo-centric the list was. So Jen suggested she’d draw up a top 100 Peirene list with recommendations from our readers. She received nearly 200 suggestions. In the evening she proudly put up our list, The Peirene 100 Essential Classics From Around The Globe, compiled entirely by Peirene Press readers.
I haven’t seen the Nymph all weekend. She’s staying with Jen. ‘No offence.’ Peirene texted me. ‘But Jen just knows how to have fun. We are twittering with the world. I hope you’re enjoying adding full-stops and taking out commas’.
Image by Vestman.