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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Paperback – March 26, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Brian E. Wilson, Oak Lawn Public Library, IL
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
note: (find the version you are looking for with the ISBN numbers I've provided at the bottom of this review, you can just copy and paste them into the amazon search field and hit GO).
Here are excerpts from the three most common translations:
Paragraph one, translated by Mercier Lewis -
THE YEAR 1866 WAS signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumors which agitated the maritime population, and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.
Paragraph one, translated by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter (1996) -
THE YEAR 1866 was marked by a bizarre development, an unexplained and downright inexplicable phenomenon that surely no one has forgotten. Without getting into those rumors that upset civilians in the seaports and deranged the public mind even far inland, it must be said that professional seamen were especially alarmed. Traders, shipowners, captains of vessels, skippers, and master mariners from Europe and America, naval officers from every country, and at their heels the various national governments on these two continents, were all extremely disturbed by the business.Read more ›
First, the basic text is dreadful: though unidentified, it's the long-discredited translation signed by "Mercier Lewis" and rushed into print in 1872 by the London firm of Sampson, Low. As modern scholars have documented on numerous occasions, Verne's original French was politically censored, drastically abridged, couched in stilted Victorian prose, and riddled with hundreds of inane translating errors. Its clunky, antiquated English is something no American student could possibly enjoy ("I own my heart beat," says the narrator, who actually means, "I admit my heart was pounding"). As for the translating blunders, some are asinine beyond belief -- Verne's characters start a fire with a lentil (Verne: lens) . . . loosen bolts with a key (Verne: wrench) . . . and claim iron is lighter than water (Verne: the opposite, of course).
Are these obscure facts? Anything but. Over the past four decades, this translation's inadequacy has been bemoaned repeatedly in basic reference works (Taves & Michaluk's JULES VERNE ENCYCLOPEDIA), online (the Jules Verne Forum at jv.gilead.org.il), and in readily available MODERN translations of this novel (e.g., the paperback editions from Signet, Oxford, and the U.S. Naval Institute).Read more ›
This, the Restored and Annotated version of 20,000 leagues, is a VAST improvement over previous English editions. The translation is very well done, and the annotations explain what has been changed and what previous translations accomplished.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An older book but a great adventure story. Makes me want to read some more from the author. Sorry to see it end.Published 22 days ago by B.P.
Bought as a gift and he really liked it. I would definitely recommend this product.Published 22 days ago by Nichole Rachelle Randazzo
I loved the book, but... it's very much an abridged copy. One footnote even admits a part was cut, and later on I found out that this is the original English translation that cut... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Labrynian Rebel
Read this in my native language, now in english, it is still wonderfull bookPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
These 3 books were gifts for great grandsons, and they're enjoying them greatly.Published 2 months ago by Jacqueline L. Buckely
Good classical story. Goes in depth into marine biology much more than I expected.Published 2 months ago by Joseph Logan