DCML digest, Vol 1 #126 - 6 msgs

Stefan Diös pyas at swipnet.se
Wed Apr 5 13:43:12 CEST 2000

John Garvin:

> <<<<<<As an artist and writer, Stephan, I take great exception to this. It
> sounds to 
> me that you are in the wrong line of work. You don't want to be a
> you want to be a writer.

You are right, John, that I would prefer not to call myself a "translator".
That's what it says in the comics, but I'd much rather say I "write the
dialog". Sometimes I still use words like "translating" because it may be more
convenient than some awkward phrase like "dialog-writing". Perhaps this use
look a little careless, given my basic attitude towards my work.

I also agree with everything you say about translating in general. If I'm
translating a book (non-Disney) or something like that, which has happened on
rare occasions even though I clearly specialize in Disney comics, I approach
the task much differently. Yes, comics should certainly be treated with the
same respect, but trying to maintain something of the traditional Swedish
atmosphere about the way the Ducks talk is just as important to me, if not
more, as preserving the exact wordings of a writer. The magazine needs some
consistency within itself and within the frame of history, even though many
different talents are contributing.

 <<<<If I want 
> to read a story by Rosa, Barks, Scrapa, whoever, I want to read their works,
> not 
> the modified works of Stephan Dios. 

Now you mention the greatest masters. It would be very rare that I'd take upon
myself to correct or improve upon such elite authors... although I'll readily
admit that I would try it whenever I saw necessary. Even for other writers, I
really don't change as much as it may sound from some of my overly pompous
"mission statements". Ten or fifteen years ago I'd change a lot more than I do
now. (And then the Swedish editors would make further changes behind me. Those
poor writers of the 80's!)

As for my wanting to be a writer... yes, I like to write, but no, I never felt
an urge to produce any comic stories of my own... at least not since I
found my
place "translating". I'm sure I couldn't write stories well enough to
please my
own taste (nor any readers'), so I'd rather stick with something I feel
comfortable doing. Writing Duck dialog, and maybe an occasional article about
the comics, is what I do best... in fact, it's the only thing I can manage in
this field at all, and I don't think I'll ever aspire to do something else.
Obviously, lots of people will think I can't even do that well enough...
but as
long as my editors are happy, and I keep feeling comfortable myself, I'd like
to try to continue just a little while more. Of course, as soon as a true
talent shows up for my position, I'll gladly step aside to ensure that the job
gets done as well as possible.

Meanwhile, John, I sincerely hope that whenever I come across some of your
writing, I can render it in a way that will please both yourself and the
Swedish audience.

Stefan Dios
Malmo, Sweden

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