Why I Love Automatic Translation

Here’s automatic French-to-English translation on Amazon.fr of part of the page flogging the French version of my Jenny and the Jaws of Life. (I supply the original sentences for the quoted passage from “Melinda Falling.”)

She was disconsolate. It was inconsolable. For hours she lay face-down on the living room couch, sobbing wildly, angrily brushing off my comforting hand.   Lengthened flat belly on the settee of the living room, it sanglota passionately during hours, pushing back with anger my caresses of comfort. When she became coherent she called herself “a freak, a freak, a freak,” and threatened to run away to a sideshow. When it could be expressed in a coherent way, it qualified “monster, monster, monster” and threatened to go to be given in spectacle in fairs. I told her that indeed, she was a freak, in a positive and glorious sense; that she was unique; that she was different, not in degree but in kind, from any other woman I had ever known, and that therefore she was infinitely precious to me. I say to him that indeed, it was a monster, in a positive and glorious direction; that it was single, different, not in degree but in kind, of all the other women whom I had known; and that, consequently, it was infinitely invaluable for me. She said I was crazy. It answered that I was insane. How can it be crazy, I asked her, to love someone without reservation, just as she is, and to wish for nothing more? “In what is this insane, asked him I, to love somebody without reserve, such as it is, and nothing to wish moreover?” “I don’t know,” she said, “but it is.” “I do not know, but that is.”

Twisted stories or stories to twist laughter, the stories of Jincy Willett stick tenderly to characters délicieusement wobbly. The women are awkward there with the clean direction, the men with the illustrated direction. Useless to specify that as soon as it is a question of going to dance, allure or simply discuss, the catastrophe is never very far.

The author seen by the editor:

Jincy Willett is an author and editor; she lives in San Diego, in California, where, since the republication of Julie and the fair with the illusions, she has more and more evil to remain incognito.

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Part Deux:

Here’s an automatic translation of an ad for the French version of Winner:

 Gloire, Honneur, et Mauvais Temps

Abigail and Dorcas live in Providence (Rhode Island) and are twin. More different one from the other, it does not have there. Abigail is the Gironde, sensual, unsteady, greedy, secretly with the drift; Dorcas is less than pretty, revêche, disgusted by the sex, book (it is a librarian). Abigail will marry, have a girl, will become widowed, take lovers; Dorcas will be desiccated on the spot, handled clearness like a sabre, will be cynical by nature or survival, with the choice. And here is Abigail who convole in second weddings with Conrad Lowes, famous novelist and perverse practitioner; and here is that Dorcas observes the sadomasochistic relations between Conrad and his sister. All will fly in glares, glory and honor, beauty too. And then one day, Abigail will kill Conrad. Its tumultuous life of couple in a book will entrust. Who will have success. That Dorcas will briskly comment on, with compassion, fury and intelligence, carried by the blizzard which blows on Providence.

Biography of the author

Jincy Willett was born in 1946 in Massachusetts. After studies with Brown University, it teaches philosophy and takes part in workshops of writing. It has a son in 1987 and becomes widowed the following year. It joined then its family with San Diego, where it always saw. It publishes Jenny and the jaws of life (1987) who will appear in France under the title the Can-opener (Otherwise, 2004). In 2003, it delivers its first novel, Winner of the National Book Award (this Glory, honor and bad weather that Phébus publishes in January 2007). Jincy Willett is putting the last key at its second novel, The Writing Class.  


Prologue to new novel The Writing Class (to be published June 10, 2008)


lumbers into class five minutes late, dragging, along with her yard-wide butt, a beat-up vinyl briefcase stuffed with old notebooks. A contender once, it’s obvious, she’s got great hair, long and wavy and thick and white gold, but she’s pushing fifty++, pushing two hundred, and she wears polyester fat pants and a big & tall man’s white long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves ragged and rolled up. Here is a woman who does not give a rat’s ass.

She sits down behind a rickety desk in front of the blackboard, upends the briefcase, and spreads out the notebooks and crap in a neat line, like a magician’s row of cards. She’s the teacher. But I knew this. How? Because she’s the only person in the room who isn’t nervous.

Because she’s the Dominant Male.

She looks up and counts us with her eyes. Seven. She heaves herself up on her feet and addresses the whiteboard with a green marker:



and she follows it up with the numbers of her home phone and cell phone, which if I turned this into a novel or esp a screenplay I’d have to represent as 555-something, which is foolish, which is stupid, but there you are, this is the world we live in, soft and womanish and lowest common D.

I, of course, am not nervous. Yes I am. Why? I’ve done this before. I’m a workshop vet, purple heart and silver cross. I’ve shown my stories to pretentious morons from sea to shining sea. I’ve been encouraged by twinkly grandmas, torn apart by gynecologists, talked down to by insurance salesmen.

Write what you know

The interesting thing about women, they get past a certain age and they might as well be men. The Dominant Male. Title? Idea for story?

Torn apart
by twinkly grandmas
by gynecologists

Six more trickle in. The Fat Broad looks up with studied disinterest. Yes, STUDIED DISINTEREST. It’s not a CLICHE, because these workshop instructors don’t get paid if they don’t fill their quotas. The quota here is ten; any fewer than that and it’s no go, we get our $$ back, The Fat Broad goes hungry, which would do her a world of good, but never mind. So behind her pleasant, scary face the gears are whirring and grinding. ( I’ve got to keep ten of these people. Not much breathing space. It’s time to go into my dance.)

And will she dance with me? Will she walk across that floor, past the losers and wannabes, the loudmouths, the grandmas, the housewives with a million stories in them, the math teachers whose characters for God’s sake wake them up in the middle of the night, will she pass them all and pick me? And will it be a fun dance? Will she tell me I’m talented and brilliant and that it’s just a matter of time and perseverance, and will she know what the hell she’s talking about and will she have any idea how much fucking time and PERSEVERANCE I’ve put into it already and will she look right at me and lie and will she for christ’s sake help me out or

2 more, more noise in hallway, here comes another, that makes 16, she must be breathing easier, the bitch

OR will she condescend me to fucking death like that pompous twit at Irvine and that pompous twat at Berkeley or look right through me like Professor Twitmore Fucking Twatface in Chi with his Recommended Reading List and his fucking Strunk & White






The Fat Broad speaks.