Tomorrow Pamplona Blog Tour 2011


Tour Dates: 13th June to 31st of June.  The tour coincides with Iris on Books Dutch month

The Blog Tour has now come to an end. A huge thank you to all the book bloggers who agreed to host Jan and Laura. It's been a wonderful inspiring trip. Below are some of the highlights in bold. Do click on the links to see the complete answers.


The Gigs


Gig 1 -  The Parrish Lantern: Jan, what Influences affect your Reading experience (Social,cultural etc)? Do these influences enhance or detract from the experience & specifically how do they feed into your own writing?

Writers who think about their readers produce books with very much explanations. I like it when a book is made while reading. I let readers find out about the story and the characters.(Jan)

Gig 2 - Of Books and Reading: Jan, the book is very optimistic in the sense that there is more that the characters will look forward to at the end of the book. Why this topic of two strangers whose lives are so different and yet intermingling, come together for a road trip? Where did the idea come from?

The first idea for a story was about a man who visits the Bull Run. In Pamplona he would find out some things about his life. (Jan)

Gig 3 - Lizzy's Literary Life: Jan, when the big reveal about Danny’s past is made, I felt suitably horrified. ...Yet a few days after finishing the book, I’m surprising myself thinking that Danny’s victim isn’t exactly innocent and that there may, in fact, be mitigating circumstances. Do you consider both Danny and Ragna morally culpable?

Robert also had a moral side that is disturbing, but he has the cover of the family. Maybe that is even worse. (Jan)

Gig 4 - Book after Book: Jan & Laura, to what extent was Jan involved in the translation process and what do you both feel has been gained and/or lost during the transition from Dutch to English - both linguistically and culturally?

Dutch is my language and I know how to say things in Dutch. In English, millions and millions of people can do a lot better... and a few can turn my book into an English book. Thanks Laura! (Jan)

Jan was the perfect writer for any translator. He made it clear that he was available to answer any questions I might have, but that he was going to leave it up to me to get on with the job.(Laura)

Gig 5 - The Worm Hole: Jan, who is Robert?

5 years ago I was Danny, now I am Robert. Jan

Gig 6 - Decoding Static: Double act. Jan, why did you choose Pamplona as a place? Laura, how did the story unfold itself to you as you translated it?

I was lucky to choose the boxer and when I did some research I was lucky to find boxers and trainers that could teach me about boxing, fighting and not-running, not-escaping. (Jan)

Pace and tension are essential to this story and I wanted that feeling to feed into my translation of the book, so I made sure to maintain the suspense for myself as well on this occasion and I hoped that it would feed into the translation. (Laura)

Gig 7 - Iris on Books: Laura, this month I have been reading several books that were translated from the original Dutch to English. Some seem to try to retain specific Dutch phrases or sentence structures, which might make the text seem ‘clunky’. ... What was your approach when you translated Tomorrow Pamplona?

I always hope to create the kind of writing I’d like to read myself, by trying to be faithful to the spirit of the original, rather than the letter. (Laura)

Gig 8 - The Literary Stew:  Jan, to what extent did Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises influence your writing?

I think I've read Hemingway's great novel six times, the first time when I was learning English in school, at the age of 17. The thing about that book was: the part in Pamplona is relatively small. I liked that. (Jan)

Gig 9 - Another visit to Of Books and Reading: Laura, how easy or difficult was it to work on the translation, considering that the book was written in dialogues and so much imagery was involved? 

I really enjoyed working on the dialogue. It felt almost like translating a play sometimes! (Laura)

Gig 10 - Notes from the North: Laura, translations can be tricky because of the many different meanings that words have in different languages. How did you solve these issues in your translations?

I feel that European cultures have far more similarities than differences and that our literary and linguistic expressions reflect this similarity. (Laura)

Gig 11 - Second visit to Parrish Lantern: Laura, what influences affect your Reading experience (Social,cultural etc.) Do these influences enhance or detract from the experience & specifically how do they feed into your own writing?

Jan has a very powerful voice as an author and I'm not sure that I was aware of any other reading experiences informing my work as I translated him - although there were probably plenty of unconscious influences going on... (Laura)

Gig 12 - Andrew Blackamn: Jan,  according to Peirene’s reading guide, you’re renowned for creating silent characters like Danny. Could you talk about why you do this, and what sort of effect you hope to create by having the main character speak so little?

I don’t like reading a book about a character that talks too much, or a writer that talks too much. Writers that explain too much. (Jan)

Gig 13 - Follow the Thread: Laura, how do you go about capturing the tone of a book like Tomorrow Pamplona? 

My aim is then to replicate that atmosphere in English and to ensure that the English translation captures the sense and the pace of the Dutch original. (Laura)