Austerity

Last night we went to the premier of Paul Auster’s new film. The film itself was a bit thin and underwhelming, albeit with a few amusing moments, but the evening was made worthwhile by the fact that the man himself was there to present it and be interviewed by a Flemish TV journalist about his work.

One curious fact came out during the interview – his new book, Man In The Dark, has already been published in Dutch and Danish, despite the fact that the original English text has yet to be released. Auster explained that Danish and Dutch translations of his work (and presumably other English language writers) used to sell very badly, because the level of English in those countries is very high, so most people just buy an imported copy of the original version. In order to help out the publishers, Auster agreed to let them publish the translations six months in advance of the release of the English original. Sales of the translations promptly increased tenfold…