Comments: 11
Oh, rats -- that is too bad.

"scholars can turn to the French edition for a full accounting" -- like, only scholars can possibly be interested in the unabridged version? Like, you're not a scholar if you don't speak French? Excuse me?? (And yes, I saw that the text says "anyone" earlier, but that last sentence rather seems to qualify the "anyone".)
BrokenTune 3 weeks ago
Exactly! I'm also peeved by the "some material not of sufficient interest to the British and American general reader". WTF does that mean? What is a general reader? Surely, someone who turns to a specific biography about an author has more than a passing general interest?!
And where does the translator get off about the nationality of the reader limiting their interest?? Not to mention that an English translation is essentially an access route to the book for ANYONE who doesn't speak French but can speak English?

I'm ready to start this book off with minus-stars at this point. That is, once I get over the stupid Translator's Note.
BrokenTune 3 weeks ago
I never thought I'd turn to William Hague for comfort reading...
Oh Lord ... :D

Are you sure you even want to do this to yourself? I mean, 1% in isn't that much of a commitment ...
BrokenTune 3 weeks ago
Nope. I'm not sure at all. However, the translator is not the author, so for all I know, the author may have done a great job with this book.
Tannat 3 weeks ago
You mean the author who cut out stuff? I'm confused.

I like the idea of a book starting out with negative stars. Do you like Camus's writing? Is that why you want to read this biography?
@BT: Fair. -- One also wonders what the author himself thinks about his work being considered of interest to "the British and American general reader" only in an abridged translation, incidentally.

That said, the German translation seems to be unabridged ( At any rate, it's more than twice the length of the English version, which puts some more colour on the English translator's assertion that "while all relevant information about the life and work of Albert Camus has been retained, SOME material ... has been omitted to improve the narrative flow." That strikes me as rather a big "some."

In fairness, some of the reviews on note a surfeit of information. Still, I'd rather determine for myself what information is relevant to me and what isn't ...
@Tannat: My understanding is that the translator cut out stuff. Massively -- about half the book, because he deemed it of no interest to English and American readers.
BrokenTune 3 weeks ago
@TA: Thank you! That decides it then. I'll scout for either the German version or a different book altogether.

@Tannat: No, it sounds like the translator or publisher cut the material for this particular translated edition. If it had been the author, I would have expected a note from the author on the abridged edition, not from the translator.
Happy to be of help ... ;~
Tannat 3 weeks ago
Thanks for clarifying. I just wasn't sure who was counted as the author or translator.