Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coming together.

It seems to be at a bit of a standstill. I'm not doing any actual work on the novel right now. I have a date with a friend, the fabulous Anouck Vigneault, to hash out some French-language expressions that I'm not sure about, and then I'll be sending out some copies to friends and relatives, asking them to be on editing duty, looking for... well, for badness. Poor wording, I guess, and incomprehensible passages and bad writing. I'm going to try and make it clear that there's only so much I can do, being only a translator. Even after staring at it for several months, I still find the text pretty lovely. However, that's not to say that everyone will.

On to the problem of the day:

Devanture. As in "Le restaurant du Vietnamien a une devanture tapisée d'affiches de cinéma."
A few examples (I couldn't find any examples that actually had movie posters...):

So does devanture mean that the actual windows of the restaurant are covered? That seems odd, I associate papered-over windows with a location that is either for rent and looking for a commercial tenant, or else just leased but not yet open, being prepared for a grand opening. Not with a restaurant that is open for business. Although this place in the novel is a rather shady operation, run by a drug dealer and with a clandestine poker table in the back, so maybe...?

Liam est peintre à temps perdu.
I know that "à temps perdu" is a French cultural thing, but I don't know what it means.
An example of its use: This photo is a still from Sergio Leone's film Once Upon a Time in America, described by British paper the Independent as "A Temps Perdue of the Jewish American underworld."

So. Peintre à temps perdu. A painter from a forgotten age?

1 comment:

  1. Devanture: Maybe it's the actual storefront, outdoors, like those sections on the street that are plastered with concert (and movie) posters? (http://www.fadingad.com/fadingadblog/?p=1471, second image down) That would aptly describe a business in a sketchy part of town, to me.

    And might "à temps perdu" mean "in his spare time"?