29 January 2009

Powell's question # 2

Here is my unsolicited answer to the second question raised by Adam Donaldson Powell:

"Much modern-day poetry is self-published or published by altruistic small press enterprises, many of which do not have the resources or capacity for multilingual editing. This puts quite a bit of responsibility on the author himself/herself. What are the most common indiscretions or literary problems you have observed in poetry written in another language other than one's mother tongue, and how might they be solved by the author/publisher? Are editors/proof readers/translators usually sensitive enough to the intended artistry of poetry, or do they sometimes tend to suggest changes which 'flatten out' the intended meanings?"

If multilingual writers are rare, multilingual copyreaders and proofreaders are rarer. Writers have no choice but to do proofreading themselves, but don't writers love rereading their own works a thousand times anyway? In fact, if writers cannot stand rereading their own works, they should not expect a reader to read a work even once. As for publishers (I am both a writer and publisher), writers know that they have a love-hate relationship with them. Publishers are less literate or sensitive than writers (otherwise they would be writers), so writers have to take copyreading matters into their own hands.

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