Literary Translation America's Black President, by Monteiro Lobato, 1926, translation proposal
Here's my plan... The Democratic National Convention in August will choose between Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton as candidate for the US President. This book is about just such an election campaign. It is selling like hotcakes in Brazil. Imagine how it would sell if Americans could understand what it said!
Aiex paper, March 1996 This is a PDF photocopy of a 12-page typewritten presentation on how O Presidente Negro might be relevant to a possible Colin Powell candidacy rumored at the time. » More...
Five US publishers turned it down in the 1920s even before the KKK ran all black people out of Herrin, Illinois and dotted the hillsides with burning crosses in protest of anti-prohibitionist candidates like Al Smith. Lobato hoped to have the book translated and make $2 million in gold, but nothing more was heard after 1927.
Monteiro Lobato in the Wikipedia A handy introduction to this Brazilian writer whose stature there is not very different from Mark Twain's here. Lobato also worked for the Brazilian government as a trade attaché in the US.
Expert on the 1920s I just delivered (March 19, 2008) 50,000 words of scholarly papers on the history and culture of capoera for Brazil's diplomatic corps. They've had me doing literary-quality work for years now. I translated a 1924 book by Torres, and wrote an economic analysis of the Stock Market Crash of 1929. I also have just now read Looking Backward and Equality, books by Edward Bellamy similar in style and setting to Lobato's futuristic novel. To gauge the difficulty and time involved I translated part of the book, and therefore have a head start on everyone.
Entrepreneurs invited I am looking for backers interested in funding the translation as a speculative venture. Contact me for details.
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