Miel A. Elustondo translates the first novel of the successful trilogy by the Vitoria-Gasteiz writer Eva García Sáenz de Urturi
Since the publication of the first book starring Unai López de Ayala ‘Kraken’ and Alba Díaz de Salvatierra, the first inspector and second deputy curator, in 2012, the trilogy of the White City by Vitoria-Gasteiz writer Eva García Sáenz de Urturi has become a major publishing phenomenon. The novels that make up the trilogy have gathered more than two million readers worldwide. A3media Cinema has brought to the big screen the film based on the novel ‘Silence of the White City’. Directed by Daniel Calparsoro, it was one of the most successful films of the year when it premiered in 2019, and is one of the most watched Spanish films on the Netflix platform.
The first, ‘El misterio de la ciudad blanca’, has been translated into Basque by Alberdania, with Miel A. Elustondo turning it into ‘Silence of the White City’. He presented it by videoconference, accompanied by Alberdania editor Jorge Giménez Bech and the translator. The editor is pleased to bring a work such as ‘Silence of the White City’ to the world of books in Basque, as it can help to expand the parameters of the literary market. “To this must be added the joy of adding a work in the black genre to Alberdania’s catalog, which has already begun to show that it is clearly gaining an interesting reach among Basque-speaking readers.”
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As already mentioned, the Alberdania publishing house has approached the writer and translator Miel A. Elustondo, who has collaborated with the Basque language before. According to Elustondo, in an interview with the editor at the time of the professional commission, he emphasized the importance of adapting the Basque version as much as possible to one of the key features of the author’s writing: his great ability to communicate. “He told me,” says the translator, “that the translation, above all, must run in the same way as the original.” Readers should swallow the text, as is the case in Spanish. That’s the challenge I accepted. ” Given the large volume of work and the complexity of the plot, it was essential for the translator to constantly monitor himself, especially to avoid anything that might be detrimental to the immediacy of communication. The translator thanked and praised the work of editorial editor Leire Arano: “She has directed my work with greater precision and rigor than anyone else.”
As for the plot of the play, Eva García Sáenz de Urturi points out that it is woven around a complex chain of crimes that seems to depend on a pattern. These crimes seem to be linked to other long-standing crimes, but a famous archaeologist is serving a prison sentence as the perpetrator of these previous murders: it seems that other murders that follow their previous pattern are beginning to take place in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The current killings also repeat certain features and details that were not reported to the media, and so it seems that it can be ruled out that they were committed by an imitator. From this verification, many questions have begun to arise, which affect not only the current cases, but also those that were intended to be clarified through the imprisonment of the archaeologist.
Young Inspector Unai Lopez de Ayala will be in charge of the investigation. The researcher has a great reputation as an expert in the design of forensic profiles, but the intimate uneasiness caused by inner demons affects his professional work. The hierarchical head of the inspector, Deputy Commissioner Alba Díaz de Salvatierra, does not mostly agree with the methods of the inspector. The ambiguous relationship between the two, on the other hand, intersects with the crimes they are investigating.
The seemingly calm city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the novel’s setting and setting, makes a special contribution to the powerful intrigue: it sprinkles the plot of the novel with cross-references and historical echoes, and the reader carefully follows the lands of mythology, archeology, criminal psychology and family secrets. in a narrative that starts.