Bret Harte carved a niche in the 19th century American West, writing stories of miners, gamblers, hookers, and preachers in a way that romanticized, ridiculed, and redeemed them all. "The Luck of Roaring Camp" is a fine introduction to Harte's tales.
Why must this uniquely successful genre keep enduring slights and insults? After all, snobs dismiss all kinds of pop culture — from hip-hop to sitcoms — but romance novels elicit a special degree of fervent condescension. That denigration fits a larger historical pattern that regards any of the particular interests of women — from midwifery to knitting to “old wives’ tales” — as inferior to the particular interests of men. Are romance novels any more formulaic or unrealistic than the spy novels and thrillers that attract a male readership? Is there any reason — besides stale misogyny — to question the intelligence of romance authors and their fans?
This blog records the investigatory work of Garson O’Toole who diligently seeks the truth about quotations. Who really said what? This question often cannot be answered with complete finality, but approximate solutions can be iteratively improved over time.
My job as a translator is to take all that context and language and reshape it into something that reads as if it was originally written in English. The Japanese script is my raw material. Along with translating the words on the page, I add context and create bridge sentences that might not have been in the original. I fill in gaps that would have been apparent to Japanese readers. And sometimes I rewrite things entirely.