Short Story Friday: Holey Discourse, a Kent Larsen translation of a Verissimo story

What makes this story appropriate for Short Story Friday is not the content of the work or the religious affiliation of the author, but rather the fact that the translator is LDS and introduced in to an LDS context (his circle of friends on Facebook — and then by submitting it to me). It’s a short dialogue between a Catholic bishop and his impish, philisophical conversant.

Title: Holey Discourse

Author: Luiz Fernando Verissimo; translation by Kent Larsen

Publication Info: Facebook Note, 2009

Submitted by: Kent Larsen

Why?: Kent says: “I love the wordplay philosophical games, and the ability of the author to find an argumentative way out.”

Wm adds: I like that the wordplay actually translates in to English. Ah, Latin!


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Liner Notes for “County Doctor”

I decided to go ahead and do full-fledged liner notes for “County Doctor,” my translation of the Franz Kafka short story “Ein Landarzt” (typical translated “A Country Doctor”). If you have not read the translation, you can find it here. Read it first because what follows does contain “Spoilers.”


I began the translation in June 2004 — shortly after the debut of A Motley Vision. I had an hour and a half each way daily commute on public transportation at the time and had finished up my low-brow fiction binge that had occurred in the 8-9 months after completing my master’s degree. I wanted to write but didn’t have the time or focus for fiction. So I decided to translate my favorite Kafka story. I found the original German text on Project Gutenberg, copy and pasted it in to a word document and then went through a inserted page breaks after every 2-3 paragraphs of text. I printed out the resulting document (I can’t remember how many pages it ended up being) and every workday or two I’d slide one of the pages, one other blank piece of paper, a letter-size portfolio and my 1952 Langensheidt’s German-English/English-German paperback dictionary in to my backpack. Every night on the way Continue reading “Liner Notes for “County Doctor””

Short Story Friday: “County Doctor” (Wm’s Kafka translation)

Due to popular demand, the rather non-existent market for literary translations of short work, and just because I’m such a nice guy, this week’s Short Story Friday is my translation of Kafka’s Ein Landarzt. You have the weekend to read it and respond. On Monday I will update this post and talk about the choices I made, the process of translation and a little bit about my reading of the story. But I wanted to give devoted AMV readers the chance to read it without extra-textual influences first.

Story: County Doctor: A translation of Kafka’s “Ein Landarzt” for the American West
(liner notes for the translation)

Author: Franz Kafka, translation by William Morris

Year: Translation 2004, Story 1920

Publication Info: Self-published via Google Docs