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The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)
June 29, 2005
Posted to the web June 30, 2005
An Ethiopian writer has translated the legendary work of Hadis Alemayehu's "Fikir Eske Mekabir" into English - "Love unto Crypt," The Daily Monitor learnt.
The Washington based translator, Sisay Ayenew, is to publish the magnanimous romantic literature in hard and soft paperbacks at a cost of $ 34.98 and $ 24, respectively.
The book is expected to hit US bookstores in the very near future. It is also available online via Amazon.com.
Sisay said he had wanted to translate the book ever since he first read it. The work took 13 years to accomplish. Having financed the book's publication himself Sisay says is proud to deliver the utmost Ethiopian literature to English readers.
He added that different professors of literature had critiqued the book to insure the translation was up to standard.
After reading the translation, Professor Haile Getachew said Hadis Alemayehu was a number one Ethiopian writer and that is evident in the fact that there is no book as widely read as Fikir Eske Mekabir.
American writer of "The Journey of Fulfillment," Tamara Sminey much-admired the work as an eye opener of African literature. She drew parallel with Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and "Arrows of Sand."
i think it is a great way of acknowledging and appreciating the great work of authors like Hadis; but most of all , it is a great way of introducing our culture, values especially a picturious adventure throughout Ethiopia, would live an unforgetable impression to the young generation and the rest of the world.
keep up the good work!
I think the cover should have said “Translated by Sisay Ayenew” instead of “by Sisay Ayenew". People may think that it is an original not a translated work. However, Sisay Ayenew did an excellent job to present Ethiopian literature to the rest of the world.
I second your opinion “aj” it should have said translated by Sisay Ayenew.
What an accomplishment! The work by Sisay is amazing (13 years? Goodness gracious). That’s remarkable, and what a patient man he is. Though, I’ve little memory of the novel, no doubt that it was a highly recommended reading in Ethiopia. The timing of the release of the novel could not have been at a better time. I look forward to reading it. I agree that Sisay should have pointed out that the novel was a translation.
If you look at the cover carefully, it has Haddis Alemayehu’s name on top. Besides, none of has seen the inside of the book, why the rush to comment about Sisay not pointing out he translated the book?
I can’t wait to read it. Great job, Ato Sisay. We are indebted for your hardwork.
I really appreciate the your courage and determination you demonstrate in translating the biggest treasure of literature in the country. You deserve appreciation and respect no matter what. It takes courage, love, commitment, vision and purpose to do such a break through effort. I can’t wait not only to read the book but to present it as a valued gift to my special foreign friends here in USA. God bless you and may this be a reason for the rest of us to open our eyes to accomplish better that could contribute worth not only to our personal life but also to the society at large.
I really appreciate the courage and determination you demonstrate in translating the biggest treasure of literature in the country. You deserve appreciation and respect no matter what. It takes courage, love, commitment, vision and purpose to do such a break through effort. I can’t wait not only to read the book but also to present it as a valued gift to my special foreign friends here in USA. God bless you and may this be a reason for the rest of us to open our eyes to accomplish better that could contribute worth not only to our personal life but also to the society at large.
I think this book will have such a tremendous impact on many, especially those of the new Ethiopian generation born/raise abroad. It also brings out the almost forgotten great writer of Ethiopia’s past, Addis Alemayehu. I read the book while I was still in Elementary school back in Harrar. I must say it was my bible as I read it repeatedly. It’s one of Ethiopia’s great literatures. I think the Amharic version will make much more sense to the Amharic speaking readers. I should have commented this after I read the English version.
Congratulations Sisay and all Haddis Alemayehu fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I reall appritiatey your effort to translate this lovely book. I can’t wait to read your book.
Once again Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!
Bravo ! Mr Sisay
keep up this wonderful job for other best known Ethiopian Authors too. By doing that you will help the young and lost generation of our time around the globe, specially for young Ethiopian Americans will gave them the opportunity to test the work of their own Authors. I’m eager to read the English verision of “Fikir Eske mekabir”
Once again I admire your wondeful job.
The cover says Haddis Alemayehu, but does not say “translated from…". Let us be realistic.
Caution, friends. Rule #1 is, Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover.
Let us go ahead and slightly crack this rule for a second. The cover indicates that LOVE UNTO CRYPT is by Sisay Ayenew. So far so good. Underneath it, however, we learn that the book is in fact Haddis Alemayehu’s Fikir, Iske Mekabir [Ye Haddis Alemayehu Fikir, Iske Mekabir]. The target of the Amharic subscript is, obviously, not the English-only readership but the large English/Amharic-speaking Ethiopian community.
Sisay must be congratulated for his efforts and rightly rewarded for them, though we have yet to find out if he succeeded in delivering a faithful and learned translation.
Here are my cocerns: If the book is Haddis’s and Sisay is simply the translator, should it not have said, LOVE UNTO CRYPT by Haddis?Second, since adherence to international copyright laws in Ethiopia is substandard and not something to be proud of, what are the implications of this exercise? Will we be hearing ‘cats and dogs’ tearing at each other over ownership (read: money)? Will the offer to the world of our culture be tainted by legal and financial wrangling?
Unless, of course, Sisay is the godson of Haddis (or something like that) and was commissioned by the latter to undertake this project; in which case, I will have been wrong about all of the above statements.
And I am happy to live with that–even unto crypt.
Great achievement for the translator(Sisay Ayenew).My main concern is the author should be known for his work and the translator (Sisay) should be known for his part translating the story to english.It is deceiptful book cover to have (by Sisay)when it’s not.The publisher need to recall the book or change it asap.
Fikir Eskemekabir is a literature treasure to all Ethiopians.I hope Sisay will realize his mistake and correct it before it’s too late.
i do not understand ,why most of us
likened disecting hair.the translator has mentioned clearly,
ye haddis alemayehou .let we learn to appriciate
the effort of other people.
ato.sisay,please do not stop here.
continue to show to the other world
that ethiopia ðiopian writers have an ancient and unique style in
the litreature world
thankyou ato sisay.long live to ethiopia ðiopian litreature by our legendary writers.