... AND AS FOR THE TRANSLATOR...

The translator sincerely believes that the focus should be on the book and its author, and not on himself; he is merely a conduit to a new community of readers. But his friends and handlers insist that today’s world is people-hungry, and if you don’t feed ‘em, they won’t read you. So, a few words about himself…

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Christopher Fisher arrived with a silver spoon in his mouth just as Hitler’s war was about to destroy the world into which he had been born. Both his father and grandfather were London lawyers, and he was well educated at Westminster School and Oxford. He declined pressing invitations to join his college rowing club, the Church and the Military, and went to live in Vienna as the occupying Russians departed, then Spain in Franco’s decrepitude, Ibiza before the hippie invasion, and Brussels before the Commission became a dirty word.

He ran a restaurant poorly, wrote bad scripts for forgettable films, and eventually emigrated via the textile industry to the world of international communications consulting where he counted major international brands, companies and even governments among his clients. He was communications adviser to Spain’s 1992 Universal Exhibition in Seville and to Russia’s post-communist privatisation drive in Moscow.

He claims to have a musical ear and a flair for languages, yet he speaks French with an undeniable accent despite living in France for most of the past forty years. He got into the translation game helping Assistant Professors and Lecturers of Anthropology by translating and editing their academic papers for publication. This encouraged him to shoot for higher things, classics rather than contemporary fiction, but not the already well-served Maupassant, Flaubert, Zola or Balzac. Restoring Lesage to a broad audience seemed a worthy first objective.

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His forthcoming projects include a trilogical portrait of Napoleon from the pens of Chateaubriand, Madame de Staël and Stendhal, and a new English translation of Chateaubriand’s Spirit of Christianity, a maybe necessary but surely insufficient penance for a lifelong non-believer. Since commercial publishers disdain the work of the more mature unknowns, he has founded a cooperative venture, Olvaert Editions, to fill the gap.

The translator is married, has two grown up children and lives in Normandy where, among other pleasures, it is a little bit warmer and somewhat less rainy than the south of England.

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