Antilibrary

So many books to read, so little time.

Question on translations and a quantum library of light fiction

with 2 comments

An interesting question has arisen (for me at least) from Shane Deichmans` excellent review of Admiral Gorshkow`s book The SeaPower of the State.

The question is not whether to buy the book at all. If Shane´s model of what a review should be is not enough to enable a man to take a decision I do not know what is.

The question is: Do I get the

  • Naval Institute Press – (1979) version (English)
  • Berlin, Militärverlag. der DDR, 1978 (German, official East German military press version)
  • Seemacht Sowjetunion : Sergej G. Gorschkow. Dt. Ausg. hrsg. von Eckhardt Opitz Hoffmann und Campe, 1978 (West German ed. from an editor with a 1st rate reputation)

The Naval Inst. version is probably very good, but German is my native laguage so I wd give precedence to an equally good German version.

Now the East German Militärverlag made some good books (I have read some of them) and it may be closer ideologically, thus more authentic. I know the terminology well enough so that may be a plus.

On the other hand the Hoffmann & Campe outfit is known for quality and the editor Prof. Opitz is no fool.

What do you think ? Does it matter at all ?

Kotare points out that “sci-fi and fantasy is often derided as infantile and escapist.” I am not a great reader of either but I know what he means. The German language has evolved the contemptuous term of “Trivialliteratur” for all books that do not fit a high or at least middlebrow worldview.

Here is a list of my standard escapist brainless reading and listening matter

  • John Buchan (all, but not any of his legal or historical texts), my favourite hero being Richard Hannay
  • Conan Doyle: All of Sherlock Holmes and Le Brigadier Gérard
  • Cutcliffe Hyne: The Adventures Of Captain Kettle
  • Surtees: All of his works, in particular Mr. Romfords Hounds
  • Anthony Hope: The Prisoner of Zenda
  • Rider Haggard: King Solomon`s Mines
  • Ian Fleming – all of Bond
  • F Forsyth – early works only, The 4th Protocol being the last good one.

Wonderful stuff,  though requiring a mental health warning for members of the pc brigade.

More refined: PG Woodehouse (Jeeves and Wooster), HH Munro /Saki (all), Erskine Childers (Riddle Of The Sands), Maugham (Ashenden).

What are your favourites ?


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Written by fabiusmcunctator

November 17, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Fabius

    Anything by Gerald Seymour – ‘Harry’s Game’ being my favourite. Also Ian Rankin – the Rebus series. And Forsyth – ‘Day of the Jackal’ was superb – brilliant plot twists.

    kotare1718

    November 18, 2008 at 5:16 am

  2. Escapist no doubt, infantile maybe. I happen to be a big fan of science fiction and fantasy. I’ll read just about anything, but I find in addition to non-fiction that a steady diet of general fiction aids me in my digestion of more ‘serious’ literature. Additionally, as an execise machine for the imagination I think fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, helps me to think in possibilities and consider ideas no matter how outlandish. Forget outside-the-box, give me outside-the-universe anyday.

    Arherring

    November 18, 2008 at 8:49 pm


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