Two More Little Princes

While I returned from Vietnam to Singapore, my husband went on to Bangkok. After seeing how pleased I was to find The Little Prince in Vietnamese, he wanted to surprise me by bringing back The Little Prince in Thai. I spoiled his plan by asking him to look for it when I checked in with him online during his stay. Then he felt it was incumbent upon him to come up with an even surprisier surprise.

The result: The Little Prince deluxe pop-up book! Since I had The Little Prince in English and six other languages (not counting Thai), clearly I needed to have the book in 3D.

It’s pretty spectacular! I was indeed surprised.

tlp-title

tlp-interior

After a bit of Googling, I realized: nine versions is just a drop in the bucket. There are more than 250!

For comparison, the sensationally successful Harry Potter books are “only” available in about 70 different languages (someone’s got them all); I have copies in about 30 of them.

What about the The Bible? It’s available in over a thousand languages.

Still, The Little Prince is one of the most translated works ever. It’s up there with Pinocchio, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and stories by Andersen.

Given how many versions of The Little Prince there are, owning just one version for English (well, two, counting the pop-up) is paltry. I should figure out which English translation I have, because apparently there are several, and some are more well-regarded than others—or perhaps it would be fairer to say the different versions well-regarded for different reasons.

More on the subtleties and pitfalls of translation and publication across language barriers, with specific reference to The Little Prince, at the link below.

On Translation and The Little Prince

Clueless (1995)

I watched Clueless to be able to compare it with Jane Austen’s Emma, on which it was based. I’d never seen it and had no 90s nostalgia for it at all. It was a decent retelling for its length, but I wasn’t amazed.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/clueless/id300913833

Details comparing the Austen novel with the movie follow below, with SPOILERS.

Continue reading Clueless (1995)

Emma by Jane Austen

I read The Annotated Emma when Emma was chosen as the Hungry Hundred Book Club book for November.

There are advantages and disadvantages to reading annotated editions of classics. The advantage is that you get a lot of added historical context (details about clothing, buildings, transportation, manners, etc.) and literary criticism (similarities and differences between related works). The disadvantage is that you aren’t left to see the story and characters reveal themselves to you, or to draw your own conclusions about the author’s themes.

On balance, for Emma, I’d say it’s worth reading an annotated edition if you already know the plot. Knowing the plot made the book a bit—only a bit!—tedious to read, since I spent the entire novel waiting for Emma to discover a bunch of things I already knew… she is, like Cher in the movie Clueless (1995), well meaning but oblivious. Thus, there’s a tinge of “unreliable narrator” syndrome, but in fact the narrator is much wiser than the protagonist, so I’d say the novel doesn’t cause disastrous levels of reader impatience. This is Jane Austen we’re talking about! Her stories are entertaining practically by definition. What more can I say?

When and Why I Read It

Rachel of the Hungry Hundred Book Club Meetup in Singapore chose it.

Genre: fiction (literature)
Date started / date finished:  31-Oct-16 to 27-Nov-16
Length: 863 pages
ISBN: 9780307390776 (paperback)
Originally published in: 1815
Amazon link: The Annotated Emma

Vietnamese banknotes

Whenever I visit a foreign country, I try to collect one each of all the bills and coins in use; my husband also likes to have a set of his own, so I assembled one for him this time too. Nine different bills! Six polymer and three paper.

Since the coins aren’t worth much, I didn’t run across any in use. I did see some at a stall selling postcards, stamps, and other items of interest to tourists, but they were glued on to a dirty old cardboard “collector’s album” with some undoubtedly fake/replica ancient coins and some random, beat-up coins from other countries (including an American penny next to a label that said it was a nickel). No thanks.

Since the Wikipedia article on Vietnamese banknotes doesn’t let you see the images of the banknotes (you have to click a bunch of links to another site), I’ve scanned mine and posted them below.

The 200k note shows Ha Long Bay, and the 100k note shows a gate at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, two locations I’ve now seen in person.

Continue reading Vietnamese banknotes

Embroidered flag patches

This is the current state of my collection of embroidered flag patches. (They’re all about the same size and quality now, yay!)

The ones in plastic bags are all ones I just bought in Vietnam.

These are all flags from countries I’ve visited (except that I haven’t been to Malaysia, the Philippines, or Mexico overnight, and one is the Buddhist flag).

China Hong Kong Taiwan Macau Japan Korea
India Sri Lanka Mexico Buddhism  
Laos Vietnam Singapore Philippines Thailand
Cambodia Myanmar Myanmar (old) Malaysia Indonesia
UK Spain Portugal France Hungary Germany

I also have flag patches for cities and states I’ve lived in, plus the US, plus a variety of other embroidered patches for sites, places, brands, and institutions.

I would like to have flag patches for:

  • Italy (+ Vatican City)
  • Honduras
  • UAE (no overnight visit)
  • England
  • …any other countries I visit in the future!

Small little bowl from Vietnam

This bowl came from a shop called Maroon (156 Hang Bong St).
The price was VND 88,000 (about S$5.50).

They had a lot of other pieces with a similar glaze.

vietnam-ceramics

It’s impressive that the shop has custom-printed shopping bags.
On the other hand, nobody really proofread them…

maroon-front
Maroon
interior design – glhtware – homeware
maroon-back
Dnterior desining and prodncing:
– Wooden furnitures, sofa, curtains
– Giftware, homeware, ceramics, silk,
Lacquers

Six Little Princes

I’m fascinated by books that transmit knowledge and culture across language barriers, which is why I have whole shelves of familiar books in unfamiliar languages. (I’m not crazy; I’m erudite! At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)

One of the books I own in multiple languages is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Above are copies in Lao(atian), Khmer (the language of Cambodia), Vietnamese, Portuguese, the original French, and Italian.

I bought the Lao and Khmer copies at Monument Books in Vientiane in 2015; I just recently bought the Vietnamese one at one of the three Artbook locations in Hanoi; I bought the Portuguese one in Porto, Portugal, in 2004. I unknowingly kicked off the habit of buying Le Petit Prince in other languages when I bought the Italian one in Italy in 2002. I probably bought the English version between 1999 and 2004.

The French copy is the one I used when I was a senior in high school. The book, designed for students, includes a glossary at the back, but I added footnotes.

le-petit-prince
My handwriting, age 18. Meh.

Do I have an English translation of Le Petit Prince? Yes, but it’s not in the photo because it’s in a box with a bunch of other books we don’t have shelves for. There is more than one such box.

in-a-box
That’s my English-language copy of The Little Prince.

Bottom left, you see 1984? I have that in Portuguese, too.

Smaragdgrün (2016)

I should have paid attention to that little word “finally” in the synopsis. The fact that this is the third movie in a trilogy explains a lot. I had no idea. I just thought it would be fun to watch a German movie about time-traveling teenagers.

In any case, I should have known it wouldn’t be much fun to watch a fantasy movie—especially a widescreen version of one—on a screen that’s only maybe eight inches across. Not only did I have a hard time appreciating the costumes and special effects, I had a hard time reading the subtitles.

I can still say I enjoyed listening to the movie, though!