The translation debate continues

A few months ago it seemed all I could blog about was the CWA’s flat-footed moves concerning the Duncan Lawrie Dagger and how the 20,000 pound prize would exclude translated works. Not surprisingly, there was, and still is, a ton of controversy about it (even after a new prize for translation – with substantially less money awarded – was created) and now John Connolly examines his own feelings on the subject, which are, to say the least, rather pointed:

Sorry to be coming to this debate so late, but it sometimes takes a

while for these things to annoy me sufficiently to compel to put my

objections in print, and I noticed that a great many of my fellow

writers had chosen to remain diplomatically silent on the issue. (After

all, £20,000 is not to be sniffed at, and we wouldn’t want to offend

anyone, would we?) At least I had time to think about it which, given

the fact that the CWA announced the exclusion of translated works 24

hours after giving the Dagger to Indridason, is more than can be said

that august body. And if they had been considering it for longer, then

how could they announce, after giving Indridason his prize, that they

were in favour of mainstream recognition for foreign writers? The two

positions are, frankly, incompatible, and everyone involved in the

exclusion decision should hang their heads in shame.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m not a member of the CWA which, handily, saved me the trouble of resigning in protest. 

Read the rest, but it does basically boil down to this: “if foreign writers hadn’t started winning the Dagger, then I

rather suspect that they would have been quite welcome to keep

competing for it.” And now that they have their own, I guess we’ll never know the answer to that, will we?