Monday, 27 February 2012

The Translators: Benoît Domis

They are the unsung heroes of international publishing, if they fail they get the blame but if they succeed their work goes unacknowledged. I'm planning to have a page dedicated to them when I update my website but until then here is the first in a series of blogs in their honour.
After graduating from a business school and spending the first half of his professional life in sales and marketing, Benoît Domis decided that life was too short and would certainly be better if he could live – at least partly – from something he actually liked, that is genre fiction (and especially horror).
He started by co-editing Ténèbres, the French horror magazine, from 1998 to 2001 (Ténèbres won the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in 2001 for its huge 400 page Stephen King issue). For Ténèbres and other French magazines, he translated his first short stories from several writers who were his literary heroes (Stephen King, Michael Moorcock, Michael Marshall Smith, Terry Dowling, Ian Watson).
He then went on to translate novels from – obviously – Ben Aaronovitch, Jack Ketchum, Craig Spector, Robert McCammon, Gary Braunbeck and Peter James (among others).
In 2003, he co-founded Dreampress.com, a small press that publishes short story collections (mainly horror : Ramsey Campbell, Douglas Smith, Brian Hopkins ; but also science-fiction : Ian Watson) and raised Ténèbres from the dead as an annual anthology (4 issues so far).
Benoît is 49 and lives in Nancy, in the east of France.

1 comment:

Andrew Lawston said...

It's very frustrating that there isn't more of an appetite for translations of French material into English. I bulldozed my way through a Casanova novel a few years ago, but there's little commercial interest in anything after the turn of the 20th Century, and I'm not sure where to turn for genre translation work.

Oh dear, I'm a dreadful person, this is quite clearly me shilling for someone among your esteemed readership to point me in the direction of a publisher/editor who needs some French-English translation doing. In which case I might as well add that I have a BA and PGCE in French and MPhil in French cinema. And my own dictionary.