Friday, July 10, 2015

Updates on my two parable books: one with a new translation; one forthcoming

David B. Gowler, What Are They Saying About the Parables? 
Korean edition. Photo by Jacob Gowler

First, I got a pleasant surprise in the mail this week: My book on the history of recent scholarly interpretations of the parables (What Are They Saying about the Parables?) was translated in Korean by Byung-Mo Kim and published in Korea (Seoul, Korea: CLC, 2015). At least I assume it was translated into Korean; since I can't read Korean, I'll have to trust what the cover says!

This marks the fourth translation of my books into languages other than English. My first parables book was also translated into Japanese by Akira Komaki. My book on the historical Jesus (What Are They Saying about the Historical Jesus?) was also translated into Korean (also by Byung-Mo Kim). I also revised and expanded the book on Jesus for a translation into French that was published by Cerf in 2009; it was translated by Jean-Bernard Degorce.

Second, I finished the first round of revising my draft of the reception history of the parables book. I cut over 30,000 words, so the total of words (without an introduction and conclusion) is now down to 119,450.  The target is 100,000. The first round of cuts was relatively painless, but the revisions will get more difficult as I move forward. 

As I have noted before, I tend to write long. That is advantageous for me in several ways. I write, in part, to think through things, so I knowingly "overwrite" to figure things out. As I start to revise, it becomes increasingly clear what is essential and what is not, what is interesting and what is not. I am also able to construct a better flowing/understandable argument/case. Not only does the work become more readable, it also becomes more clear and cogent. The process is painful--the last few (thousand) words that I cut are sometimes extremely difficult to do--but ultimately the work is much better.

Other people write more efficiently by using other methods, but this approach has worked well for me. 

Here are the current word counts per chapter. The topics in each chapter range from 9 to 12:

  • Chapter 1: 25,812
  • Chapter 2: 22,780
  • Chapter 3: 23,596
  • Chapter 4: 21,552
  • Chapter 5: 25,710
I plan to return to Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents in my next post.

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