Kyle Kallgren: An Optimal Audience

By: | Post date: 2017-09-28 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages

It’s a curious thing, having been the co-translator of the Klingon Hamlet. Those involved in the enterprise decided to efface our egos, and publish the translation as a group effort back in 1996. My name’s on the inside cover; my name’s certainly underneath the introduction, which I strongly suspected was the only bit that most people buying the book would read. But my name doesn’t show up as often as I might have expected, in discussion of the Klingon Hamlet online.

And related to that, I guess, there’s been a fair bit of discussion of what I was trying to achieve, and what constraints I was working against, that never mention me by name at all. I have not been kept up to date with how the work has travelled, either. Such as, for example, its recent appearance in German:

Better cover art than the original, I dare say:

After a couple of radio interviews back in 1996, noone’s ever asked me any questions about it either. Well, noone up until Quora, thanks to which you can now read What was Nick Nicholas’ process to translate Hamlet into Klingon?

Still, it’s perversely gratifying to see people grapple with your concepts and your thinking, without even acknowledging your name. To know that what you put out there has struck an audience without you having to propel it.

Kyle Kallgren is a movie pundit on YouTube. He’s someone I was not familiar with until I egosurfed yesterday what people have been saying about the Klingon Hamlet. He looks to be a quite astute cultural critic.

And two years ago, without me knowing of it or having any contact with him, he did this two part analysis of the Klingon Hamlet, as part of a series on Shakespeare.

It’s a deep analysis. An analysis that points out all the foibles and compromises of the enterprise. An analysis that looks beyond the novelty to the cultural forces at play underneath. An analysis that read my introduction and annotations seriously and attentively—and critically.

We should all be fortunate enough to have as astute an audience for our works, as I have had in Kyle Kallgren. Thanks, man.

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