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David Bellos - Jacques ​Tati
A ​Frenchman of Russian origins, Jacques Tati worked as a picture-framer and a music-hall mime before being drawn into the world of the French cinema and making the films that rank him with the most popular comedy actor/directors in any country. He brought to his films—Jour de Fête, Monsieur Hulot's Holidays, Mon Oncle, Playtime and others—a healthy openness to new technology in movie-making and a rigorous precision, the hallmark of many great clowns, in the execution of each scene. In this, the first complete, authoritative biography of the French icon, David Bellos has had the complete collaboration of Tati's daughter, and the freedom to examine hitherto inaccessible archives including film footage, videos, taped interviews, and early drafts of shooting scripts. What emerges is the picture of a man at once dedicated, impassioned, and shy, more an artist than a man of business.

David Bellos - Is ​That a Fish in Your Ear?
A ​ _New York Times_ Notable Book for 2011 One of _The Economist_'s 2011 Books of the Year People speak different languages, and always have. The Ancient Greeks took no notice of anything unless it was said in Greek; the Romans made everyone speak Latin; and in India, people learned their neighbors' languages--as did many ordinary Europeans in times past (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish as well as the classical languages). But today, we all use translation to cope with the diversity of languages. Without translation there would be no world news, not much of a reading list in any subject at college, no repair manuals for cars or planes; we wouldn't even be able to put together flat-pack furniture. _Is That a Fish in Your Ear?_ ranges across the whole of human experience, from foreign films to philosophy, to show why translation is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Among many other things, David Bellos asks: What's the difference between translating unprepared natural speech and translating _Madame Bovary_? How do you translate a joke? What's the difference between a native tongue and a learned one? Can you translate between any pair of languages, or only between some? What really goes on when world leaders speak at the UN? Can machines ever replace human translators, and if not, why? But the biggest question Bellos asks is this: How do we ever really know that we've understood what anybody else says--in our own language or in another? Surprising, witty, and written with great joie de vivre, this book is all about how we comprehend other people and shows us how, ultimately, translation is another name for the human condition.

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