Recently I got a great and unexpected email from a French climber and translator named Eric, in which he informed me that High Infatuation will be published in French and that he will be doing the translation, a task he does not take lightly!
This was the first email in a lovely correspondance we’ve had since then, of questions Eric has for me about odd American/climber things or expressions I apparently made up (i.e. “res dog??” “wilted celery impression??” “splitter weather???”), discussions of French climbers and history, the differences between publishing methods in the US and Europe, and then his own stories that he shares with me.
Every time Eric emails, he includes a little story and a photo of his amazing dog Kaya (who is no longer here) or his daughter’s adorable Jack Russel, Choups, or another extremely cute animal–which obviously I love. He’s also offered to send his final translation for Mario and me to read over, to see what we think (since Mario is a native French speaker, well, a native Quebec speaker anyway, and I have French as my second language, though obviously Eric’s English is about a million times better than my French…).
Could this experience of having High Infatuation published into French be any more charming or delightful?? (non!)
Eric’s dog stories and photos are too good not to share: J’adore!
“And a last word about something we seem to have in common, love for dogs: Some years back I had a great dog who we got with my wife for our younger girl as a puppy (see photo attached) but she quickly became my favorite as I was taking her bouldering in the Fontainebleau forest every Saturday and Sunday for years (I lived in Paris for a number of years). She was an incredibly good climber, never afraid, nearly always finding the easy way up a boulder to await for me at the top. After some time she could even do ‘kids’ circuits. In the mountains of Chamonix, I took her on many training trips, she did 4 times the ‘Lady’s Mont Blanc (Le Buet 3100 m), twice early in the season with still much snow which she loved. And trips which included climbing ladders (not vertical though and I had an harness for her protection). One day I discovered that she had like ‘a radar’ in her brain: on a trip where we were not coming down the same way as we went up, she was trying hard to let me know that I was taking the wrong path down, I finally gave way as I was unsure and she was absolutely right, although we were still easily a good hour from our arrival point, and she repeated that feat several times afterwards. She has gone for many years now but I still mourn her as I would of my nearest own kind.”
“I wanted another dog, particularly when ‘Choups’ the young Jack Russel of my same daughter had puppies (absolutely like him i.e. lovely and very clever). We only have him with my wife for ‘long holidays’. I attach a photo of him doing ‘water skiing’ with my daughter (Wake boarding) and another thinking himself as being a ‘Huskie’ and dragging my wife on skis (very efficiently).
I wanted to get one of his puppies but my wife was not so keen, the memory of Kaya was a bit too heavy for her, I guess, so I did not ask further.”
“Ps: another photo of Choups for my 2013 calendar”
“And as in your first chapter you mentioned a black cat who joined you and Fletch, I attach the photo of Choups with a wounded young and friendly black cat.”
“Ps : this week-end, I will send the text to my corrector. I bet you she will really improve it.
And another photo of Choups with my youngest daughter.”
So anyone else who thinks Eric and his wife need to get a baby Choups immediately if not sooner, raise your paws and say “WOOF MEOW!”
(Also, if you have been entertaining the idea of writing a book, I highly recommend doing so, immediately if not sooner, because High Infatuation was definitely worth it if only for this delightful experience.)