Barbara Fister Interviews Quentin Bates

Nordic crime enthusiast (and fellow librarian) Barbara Fister has a nice long and interesting interview with Quentin Bates on her Scandinavian Crime Fiction blog. Among other things, they discuss how Iceland has changed since Bates first lived there in the 70s, the 2008 economic Crash, Arnaldur Indriðason, and writing from a female prospective. I won’t spoil the highlights for you, but I will pass along my hearty agreement with Bates’ assessment of “the mighty Bernard Scudder,” the translator of record for oodles and oodles of Icelandic literature–everything from sagas to the English subtitles in the film version of Jar City. Says Bates:

“Arnaldur and Yrsa both had the tremendous good fortune to be translated into English by the mighty Bernard Scudder, who did a magnificent job – to the extent that their books are as good, if not better, in English than in Icelandic.”

Here, here. Scudder’s translation record is inspirational and staggering, and I’m delighted that he is still receiving due credit, even if he isn’t around to enjoy it.

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One thought on “Barbara Fister Interviews Quentin Bates

  1. Good review. Thanks for putting it up on your site.

    Most impressed by Bates’ take on the Crash in Iceland and how much the situation resembles that in US. His assessment of what it’s like, or was like, to live on a small island is interesting, especially use of the word “compact” describing the society.

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