“Miguel Villaponte is one of the most important authors that nobody knows about,” said Meghan. “His inventiveness and facility for the whimsical and the bizarre makes him easily the equal of Carrol, Borges, or any number of other literary luminaries.”

Danielle cast a wary glance over the disheveled pile of manuscripts on her sister’s desk. “So what’s the problem? Have your college put out a book of his stuff.”

“Why do you think he’s still so obscure?” Meghan barked. “It’s not just because people are lazy. Villaponte wrote in Galician, a language related to Portuguese, and it’s never been translated into English.”

“So translate it. That’s what all this is for, isn’t it?” Danielle thrust a finger at the degrees, honors and other shingles decorating the study wall.

“That’s not the only problem,” Meghan sighed. “A lot of Villaponte’s work is laced with nonce–er, with nonsense–words. How do you translate something like pageretal that has no meaning in Galacian or any other language? Worse, his nonsense words follow Galacian syntax precisely and lend a certain cadence to the language–in addition to being used, modified, references, and reinvented throughout the text!”

Danielle shrugged. “Make up your own nonsense.”

“I can’t just make up my own words–I need to settle on something that’s nonsense but fits the text, in English. If I do it wrong, the whole translation comes tumbling down like a house of cards.” Meghan cradled her head in her hands. “Did you understand any of that?”

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves / Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,” Danielle said. “Does that answer your question?”