Fans of classic literature may be interested to note that the Everyman’s Library has just released a newly translated version of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.
Everyman’s always produces lovely, easy-to-hold editions, and this volume is definitely on my must-buy list. However, I’m a little nervous about the company’s claim that this translation “presents Dumas’ work as it was meant to be written.”
I can understand a new translation that presents the work as it was meant to be read; but as it was meant to be written? Can we really go back and second-guess how Dumas meant to write the book and “correct” it accordingly?
Everyman’s publicists also note that this “slightly streamlined version of the original 1846 translation speeds the narrative flow while retaining most of the the rich pictoral descriptions and all the essential details” of the book.
Huh? So, which of the “rich pictoral descriptions” were not included? And exactly what got “streamlined”?
I know that Dumas is no Hemingway, but are we really supposed to go back and do a developmental edit on an author’s work some 160 years after its publication?