When you’re buying a book titled “Sacre Blues”, attention to detail is very important. It is important, for instance, to note whether the copy you’re buying is called: “Sacre Blues” or “Sacré blues”. It is important not to be distracted by little details like “how pretty the book is”, and instead to focus on bigger picture concerns like “whether it’s written in a language in which you are fluent”.
When you’re buying a book with an ambiguously franglais wordplay title, about “an unsentimental journey through Québec”, by a bilingual author who lives in Montreal, it should not surprise you when you sit down with a latte, and notice that the subtitle of /your/ book is “un portrait iconoclaste du Québec”.
And it should not surprise you that the first lines on the back cover read “Sacré blues propose un voyage irrévérencieux au <<pays de la poutine>>…”. So by the time you are reading “Chapitre Premier”, you really should have noticed the small font under the title which reads “traduit par Hélène Rioux”.
Because if you buy “Sacré blues” through amazon.ca, the accent egu* in the written description is going to be your only real clue that you are buying the french translation of the english book /about/ french culture.
Smrt. Or rather, fté.
And I really did only buy this version because I could not resist the bright blue and black cover with a sheep wearing a crown. I know. I’m a sucker for layout.
Come on! The sheep is wearing a crown! He thinks he’s people.
In my defence, the cover of the english version is hella lame. I mean, look at this:
I don’t especially want to carry around a book that reminds me of Grade 11 religion class, thank you kindly.
So, what have we learned here? I can think of two important lessons: 1) apparently I have francophone taste in cover design; and 2) apparently, my french is sufficient to read, understand and enjoy the first 4 pages of a french novel.
But can it hold up for 440 pages? Je pense que non, but it may be an excellent demon-facing challenge for myself.
Alright sheepie, it’s on.
*not a moron disclaimer: “egu” is intentionally spelled incorrectly for my amusement (based on a historical french class moment). Duh.