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Old 12-27-2017, 10:44 PM   #1
AlexBell
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Unknown Translator, and copyright dates.

I would like to start work on a book for the MR library by Emil Zola called in French La Curee, and usually known in English as The Kill, but also called The Rush for the Spoil.

The Rush for the Spoil was published by Vizetelly and Co. in 1886, and has a Preface by George Moore (1852-1933) who spoke French and was a friend of Zola. But there is no mention in the book of who translated it.

All the three Vizetellys (who usually translated Zola's books) died well before 1947, and it is hard to believe that anyone else who might have translated it in 1886 lived until 1947. Can I get away with 'Translator unknown' and giving the dates?
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:56 AM   #2
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"In the case that the author is anonymous or pseudonymous the term for a work is 70 years from the date of first lawful publication" [wiki]

For all practical purposes (in my opinion, at least), a translator that cannot be identified is anonymous, and one for whom no biographical data can be found is pseudonymous. So, in absence of reliable information, we just take publication date + 70 years. Even if the book had been published in 1946, we would allow it. If more data becomes available, we can change the status, of course.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:37 PM   #3
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Thanks. As it happens the further I get into the book the less I like it, so I've decided not to complete it.
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