火曜日, 11月 09, 2004

The Bike and the Mechanical Cat

    My vice-principal gave me the bike. It's purple! And it has a basket! Lots of fun. I rode it to the station this morning, the first stage in an exciting triathalonlike commute that includes being crushed in a packed subway car and trekking uphill with my usual supply of books and dictionaries on my back. Unfortunately, it was too late in the month to buy the monthly pass, so I had to buy these little paper single-use parking permits. Each time you use one, you have to take it to the ticket office (on the other side of the station from where I parked) and they give you another paper to affix to your bike. Riding a bike to the station instead of walking, I wound up losing more time than I saved.
    Weird fact about book publishing: According to The Official Torey Hayden Web Site,Torey Hayden wrote a novel, The Mechanical Cat, that was rejected by American publishers but became a bestseller in Japanese translation. The Japanese readers are requesting an English edition, but this is difficult since it was never published in its original language.

Quote from the website:

THE MECHANICAL CAT has not been accepted for publication in English. In rejecting the novel, her publisher told her this was because the book did not fit into an existing genre. It was actually described as "too novel". As a consequence, the book had its world debut in Sweden, followed a week later by the Italian publication and in Finland. Now published in Japanese, it has gone on to become a best seller in all four countries.

    I don't know what to make of this, other than to say 1) Torey Hayden is wildly popular in Japan, 2) Japanese publishers seem to have more tolerance for experimental, open-ended, vaguer, weirder sorts of novels, especially if they are written by a well-known author.
    In the "Interviews" section of the website, Torey was asked if she can speak any languages other than English. Probably in acknowledgement of where most of her fans are,Torey answered that she is learning Italian and Japanese.