What’s the best translation of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo?
I researched the different translations of Les Miserables and posted on my other website, We Love Translations. That was, however, after I had already bought the two-volume Wordsworth Classics paperback edition of the Wilbour translation.
You know, the one with Zombie Cosette on the cover. = \
Anyway… Wordsworth is what I had, so Wordsworth is what I read!
I posted my review of Les Miserables at We Love Translations too. Check it out!
When and Why I Read Les Miserables (Vol 1)
I might have read it in high school, but if I did it was probably an abridged version. Time to attack the real thing! My copy is the Wordsworth Classics two-volume edition, translated by Charles E. Wilbour.
Genre: French literature
Date started / date finished: 27-Sep-21 to 19-Oct-21
Length: 494 pages
Originally published in: 1862/1994/2002
Amazon link: Les Miserables (Vol 1)
The book was originally published in 1947 under the French title La Peste. There are three English translations:
What is the BEST translation of The Plague by Camus?
I know some French—but not, like, a lot—and I haven’t read both the existing English translations. Still, you asked, so here’s my answer.
I recommend the Buss / Penguin translation of The Plague:
It’s got a nice afterword by Tony Judt. See below for other reasons.
Buy paperback from Amazon
Continue reading Which translation of The Plague by Camus should I read?
If you have never read The Tale of Genji, my advice is, DON’T START WITH TYLER. That’s what I did: I started with Tyler. That was a mistake.
Continue reading Which translation of the Tale of Genji should I read?
I purchased this fine piece of analog pixel art (cross-stitch embroidery) from a Carousell seller named Jess and had it framed by the craftsmen at Barakkath Frame Maker in Chinatown. I’m delighted with it!
The Chinese characters are:
sōng hè yán nián
pine crane prolong year
Pines and cranes are symbols of longevity. The flowers are a kind of peony (tree peonies, moutans, or mudan). They are medicinal as well as ornamental.
See close-up below.
Continue reading Pine Crane Prolong Year
I am pleased to present the new home of whichever of my posts are dedicated to English translations of books originally written in other languages. Posts on the site also focus on a couple of collections of translations of books across several languages, whatever language they were originally written in, and books about translation, language, and culture in general.
I watched 65 movies in 2020. That sounds like a lot, even for a lockdown / quarantine / stay-at-home kind of year, even for someone with no kids.
On the other hand, I don’t watch television.
Let that sink in.
TV shows add up fast! Movies don’t require the same time commitment. They come in self-contained 90-minute or two-hour chunks. Movie marathons are less likely to occur than TV binge-watching because not every movie is part of a series, and movies don’t tend to end in cliffhangers.
See below for stats and favorites.
Continue reading Movies Watched in 2020
I like sci-fi movies, and I like Tom Cruise movies, but I don’t like this particular sci-fi Tom Cruise movie, which I just watched for perhaps the second or third time. It’s a murder mystery that thinks it’s sci-fi—a philosophical murder mystery with some annoying CGI and a dash of horror.
See below for more thoughts (no spoilers).
Continue reading Minority Report (2002)
The sensibility of this version is different. Totally different. 😉
I like the overall feel of this version better than that of the 1990 movie, but the story is much, much worse. The conflict between the haves and the have-nots doesn’t hold up. The resolution is not one.
I’ve written about Total Recall (2012) before. Here’s what I have to say this time. Beware spoilers.
Continue reading Total Recall (2012) again
I cannot wholeheartedly recommend Steven Pinker’s style-guide / usage manual, but it does have a couple of important things to say about written English.
Respect Your Tools
Language has its own internal logic. Good writing respects that logic. Writers should study grammar explicitly rather than rely on intuition in order to communicate clearly, show respect for their readers, and inspire confidence in their work. Good writers are those who read widely enough to absorb good practices from a longstanding written English tradition. They know the rules but also when to break them.
Break the Rules
The Ancient and Venerable English Teachers’ Code—beloved by Grammar Nazis, Prescriptivists, Fussbudgets and Curmudgeons—is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules, and some of the guidelines will lead you astray because (a) Some were written by people who didn’t understand English and (b) Thanks to natural and inevitable language change, the English we use today differs from the English of the past.
See below for more details about what I liked and what I didn’t like about Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style.
Continue reading The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker
When and Why I Read The Sense of Style
I bought this a while back. Finally getting around to it.
Date started / date finished: 22-Nov-20 to 01-Dec-20
Length: 368 pages
Originally published in: 2015
Amazon link: The Sense of Style