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Popular Music addendum

Some time ago I read Mikael Niemi's excellent novel Populärmusik från Vittula, and more recently I discovered that it has been translated into English as Popular Music. I purchased a hardback copy for a friend, from The Academic Bookshop. Naturally I perused it to assess the translation (nitpicking translations is a pastime I enjoy). I was disappointed to find that, although the English translation was about four times the volume of my Swedish paperback version, they had cut one of my favourite passages. Clearly this could not be allowed to go uncorrected.

Having prepared a translation of the missing passage, I faced the task of incorporating it into the book. In the end I settled for typesetting the material using Basser Lout, printing the four ensuing sides onto two sheets of paper, and slipping these into the book at the appropriate juncture. There was some trial and error involved, but with an appropriate choice of paper and careful trimming they fitted in quite naturally.

In case anyone else should wish to take similar measures, I am making these pages available here. It really is a very funny passage.

Lout source. You will require a copy of Basser Lout to process this, but it's perfectly human-readable. You will also require vit-doc, the custom setup file I wrote to get the formatting right. (The first page of this document is another passage which was in the original translation. I used this to tweak the formatting by comparing it with the book.)

Postscript output, suitable for printing or previewing.

The book is typeset in Gerard Unger's Swift font. I used Palatino for a reasonably close match, since I am too stingy to pay for Swift and too lazy to set Lout up to use it. The positioning is set up for printing on an Epson Stylus Colour 440; further tweaks may be necessary to line it up correctly on anything else.

To do: html and plaintext versions.


Last modified 2004-03-13 06:16 GMT