|02-23-2008, 07:33 AM||#1|
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Verne, Jules: Journey to the Centre of the Earth. v1, 23 Feb 2008
This is the "translation" of the 1864 Verne classic published in England by Griffith and Farran in 1871, and is still the book you'll more than likely get if you go into a book shop today and buy an English-language version of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth".
It's a good story, no doubt about it, but unfortunately it's not the story that Verne wrote. It's a complete re-write, reasonably closely following the plot of the Verne original, but all the details are different. In the original, the scientist who makes the journey into the Earth is "Professor Liedenbrock" and his nephew--the book's narrator--is called "Axel". In this version the scientist has become "Professor von Hardwigg" and his nephew is now English and called "Harry", presumably for the benefit of the book's English audience. In the original, we are shown the details of how the Professor and Axel solve the cypher document which leads to the journey; in this version we simply have:
the Professor began reading the puzzling cryptograph all sorts of ways, according to some theory of his own. Presently, rousing my wandering attention, he dictated one precious attempt to me....
... which turns out to be the solution to it.
The original is better, I think, in all sorts of ways, but this version is interesting to have to see just how much a book can be changed by a process of so-called "translation".
If you want to read a real translation of the Verne original, download the book called "A Journey to the Interior of the Earth"; this is an accurate translation of the French original, with an accurately translated title.
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