Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Text: IL METODO DEL COCCODRILLO di Maurizio de Giovanni (Italian and English)

Today, I'd like to share from page 12 of Il metodo del coccodrillo (ISBN: 9788804628224), a bestselling crime fiction in Italy. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the English edition of the novel, The Crocodile at Borders and couldn't resist buying it. I finished the intriguing, fast-paced novel within two days. I loved the English edition so I decided to also buy the original Italian edition for my personal library. I chuckled when I read the part about cats meowing (in blue fonts). Somehow it's a lot funnier in Italian... Below is the Italian text and then the English translation.

La signora sbatté le palpebre:

"Scusatemi, commissa', è che sto nervosa stamattina. Quella del piano di sotto, dovete sapere, ha cominciato un'altra volta a prendere i gatti in casa. Adesso ce ne ha tre, capite? Tre."

Giuffrè la guardava fisso:  

"Embè, e noi che ci dobbiamo fare?"

La donna si affacciò in davanti, e mormorò:

"Questi gatti miagolano."

"Uh Gesù, e certo che miagolano, sono gatti. Mica è un reato."

"Allora voi non mi volete capire: i gatti miagolano e puzzano. Io mi sono affacciata dal balcone e ce l'ho detto, con calma: ne', scornacchiata, l'hai capito o no che te ne devi andare dal palazzo, tu e queste bestiacce?"

Giuffrè scosse il capo:

"Azzo, e fortuna che ce l'avete detto con calma. E lei che ha risposto?"

La donna si raddrizzò sulla sedia per sottolineare la sua indignazione:

"Mi ha mandato affanculo."

Giuffrè annui, concordando pienamente in spirito con la proprietaria dei gatti.
"E allora?"

And now for the same text in English from page 4:

The woman blinked her eyes rapidly.

'Forgive me, Signor Captain. I must be a little tense this morning. What you need to know is that the woman downstairs has started taking in cats again. And now she has three, you understand? Three.'

Giuffrè sat staring at her.

'OK, and what are we supposed to do about it?'

The woman leaned forward and muttered under her breath,

'These cats meow.'

'O, Jesus, of course they meow—they're cats. And there's no law against cats meowing.

'Then you're determined not to understand me—those cats meow and they stink. I leaned over the balcony and I said to her, perfectly sweetly, I said: "Listen, you miserable good-for-nothing, will you get it through your thick skull once and for all that you need to move out of this building, you and your filthy creatures." '

Giffrè shook his head.

'Damn, it's a good thing you said it sweetly. And what did she said to you?'

The woman straighten her back against the chair, to underscore the depth of her indignation.

'She told me to go fuck myself."

Giuffrè nodded, agreeing with the spirit if not the letter of the cat-owner's sentiments. 'Well?'

Have you read this novel? What do you think of it?


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