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[- Making books and meeting deadlines
By Aileen, Section Filter It Yourself!
Posted on Wed Jun 25th, 2003 at 12:22:37 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Filtered through: being caught in the middle

Ideally, when preparing a publication - a book, exhibtion catalogue, essay collection, etc. - a schedule is agreed on months in advance with deadlines for the authors, then for the translators, then for the copy-editors, then for the layout, then for the printing ... At least I think that is the ideal, but I'm the translator stuck in the middle, and that is not how it usually works for me. What is a deadline anyway and how do the people at other points along the production process deal with deadlines?


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If the deadline is "Tuesday", for example, does sending an e-mail at one minute before midnight still count? I have a number of authors who think so, but even more that tend to be a bit hazy about the distinction between "Tuesday" and "Wednesday" or even "Friday". Then the editor asks if I can still finish the translation by the originally agreed deadline. I often think the only thing that makes it possible is that I have the privilege of translating for some wonderful authors and working with people who have a wonderful sense of humor and a sense that we all have to stick together and help one another as best we can, in order to make a good book.
I have suggested to many different people that we need to reform our conception of time, because the system we are using now doesn't work for anyone anymore. No one has disagreed with me yet, but neither has anyone come up with a feasible alternative.
It appears to me that most people agree with Douglas Adams, who said, "I love deadlines; I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly past", but I would still like to know what a deadline looks like from other points along the line or in other contexts. And there goes that whooshing sound again.

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Making books and meeting deadlines | 10 comments
[new] Deadlines´ Funeral (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Stranger on Thu Jun 26th, 2003 at 04:51:55 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME

In times like this, where viruses spread through email, one should definitely stay clear of all dead things. So the next time you get to a dead line, take a step back, look at it closely and then just jump over it.


[new] email deadlines (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by amy on Wed Jun 25th, 2003 at 12:55:13 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

you mentioned email, aileen ... are the time-challenged authors in question emailing you their texts?

i typically cringe when people make remarks to the effect of "cyberspace is so disembodied", but, unfortunately, my experience has been that the cliche is true in the case of email and deadlines. it seems that if you don't have to show up with an object in person, or at least the object doesn't have to be postmarked/received, etc... people feel less uncomfortable about blowing the deadline. maybe it's because the "thing" doesn't really go there at all. or maybe it's because the deadlinee isn't likely to show up or scream over the phone at the scofflaw.
in my case - i've missed an email deadline or two :-) - i think it's the latter.

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Making books and meeting deadlines | 10 comments

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