April 17, 2009

Dutch Project Gutenberg reader for April 2009

Filed under: Animals,Literature,Music,Nature by Branko Collin @ 1:37 pm

What is it with adventurers and gadgets? Do they need the distraction when all there is between them and a 2000-metre drop is an almost negligible amount of tent cloth? Or do they feel they have to be at the frontier of everything, including that of technological advances?

This photo shows an early iPod, 1909, used by Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole. As you can see, there’s only one earbud—which is rather large, the idea being that the music might be shared with penguins this way. Shackleton failed his bid but did set a record for going farthest South. When he came back later that year, he wrote an article about his adventures which got translated into Dutch and published in De Aarde en Haar Volken.

My Nederlandse Project Gutenberg Reader for April (Dutch) dips into a number of translations, among which translations of the chapter Birds of Brehms Tierleben, of Durch das Land der Skipetaren (Karl May), and of Erasmus’ Morias Enkomion (The Praise of Folly).

Tags: , , , , ,

January 6, 2009

Jules Verne for free in e-book form

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 9:46 am

A couple of years ago a Project Gutenberg volunteer called Jeroen Hellingman managed to buy 25 public domain versions of Dutch translations of Jules Verne’s 54 “Voyages extraordinaires.” These books are working their way slowly through the Distributed Proofreaders digitization process and have started to appear at the other end, at gutenberg.org. The most recent Dutch Verne adventures posted there are:

  • Wonderlijke avonturen van een Chinees, followed by Muiterij aan boord der ‘Bounty’
  • De wonderstraal, followed by Tien uren op jacht
  • De Reis naar de Maan in 28 dagen en 12 uren

The last two titles have excerpts in my latest (third) Nederlandse Project Gutenberg Reader, which also contains snippets from the Dutch translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Couperus’ Reis-impressies en Jan en Florence, Cyriël Buysse’s De vrolijke tocht, Guido Gezelle’s Laatste Verzen and Johanna van Woude’s Een verlaten post.

If you want Verne in another language than Dutch, fret not. After all, the man is the third most translated author in the world (after Walt Disney and Agatha Christie), and Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection has a great number of public domain translations of his works.

Tags: , , , ,

October 19, 2008

Second Dutch Project Gutenberg sampler

Filed under: Art,Literature by Branko Collin @ 8:36 am

I decided to make another Nederlandse Project Gutenberg Reader, containing the Dutch books that were released in the past month at the internet library. Once again you can find it at Brewster Kahle’s excellent Internet Archive.

Since the past month was a bit quiet with regards to new releases, I decided to add a couple golden oldies. The new releases were Jacob Cats’ Spaens Heydinnie and Shakespeare’s Twee edellieden van Verona. Cats was a moralistic writer from the Dutch Golden Age. Spaens Heydinnie (Spaans heidinnetje, Spanish gypsy) is a reworking of Cervantes’ La Gitanilla, in which an infant girl of noble birth is kidnapped and raised by gypsies. The third release last month was a lecture held in 1840 for the Frisian Association, which I find wholly uninteresting, but I am not going to be all judgmental about your kinks.

I added two extracts from older works. The first is a travel account of the Netherlands, Door Holland met pen en camera, by the French journalist and photographer Lud. Georges Hamön. Let me translate a bit for you:

One has to keep in mind though that Holland is a desperately flat and monotonous region, that it does not spark any fierce emotion, nor does it lead to excited enthusiasm or even quiet inner delight. Holland is the land of serenity, where one submerges in the calmest comfort.

The opposite of calm comfort is Herman Heijermans’ Diamantstad (Diamond City), a novel about and an indictment of the poor living conditions of the inhabitants of the Jewish quarter in Amsterdam around the turn of the century. Earlier I sort of translated the fragment I quote in the reader over here.

Photo of Father Kick in quiet contemplation by Lud. Georges Hamön. See also the first Dutch Project Gutenberg Reader.

Tags: , , , , , ,

September 21, 2008

Dutch literature at Project Gutenberg

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 9:01 am

I’ve made a sampler of the Dutch texts that were published at Project Gutenberg in August and September. In a month I want to attend the Communia workshops in Amsterdam on how to establish the public domain status of works, and my plan is to print a couple of these booklets and distribute them there. However, I figured other people might want to sample Project Gutenberg too, so I uploaded my Nederlandse Project Gutenberg Reader to The Internet Archive for all to read. It contains fragments from Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, Jules Verne’s Cesar Cascabel, C. Joh. Kieviet’s Gouden Daden (history), Herman Robbers’ De Vreemde Plant, J.J. Cremers’ Betuwsche Novellen, C.S. Adama van Scheltema’s Mei-Droom (drama), and a short piece by W.-F. Rondou on how to recognize counterfeit honey. You can download it in PDF and ODT (OpenOffice.org) formats.

I can make these pretty easily, so should there be any interest for such samplers, just let me know and I’ll produce one every two months or so. The sampler is set up as an actual booklet. OpenOffice.org Writer let me set wide inner margins, and Acrobat Reader 9 will let me print it.

Tags: , ,

November 11, 2007

Librivox wants readers for Camera Obscura

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 3:59 am

Librivox is a project that produces public domain audiobooks. It has its volunteers record their readings of books that are in the public domain. Currently, the project is looking for new volunteers that want to participate in recording Nicolaas Beets’ Camera Obscura, a collection of short stories and essays in Dutch. To help out you need little more than a relatively modern computer, recording software (the free, cross-platform Audacity will do just fine) and a fast internet connection (to upload the result). The only piece of equipment that you may not have is good microphone. A good microphone almost certainly means an active USB mike, either a condenser mike or a dynamic one. You can use the cheaper microphones that typically come with your PC, but these often produce too much noise for the signal they provide.

See also at 24 Oranges: Dutch audiobooks at Librivox. Disclaimer: I am a volunteer of both Librivox and Project Gutenberg, the organization that provides Librivox with most of its source texts.

Tags: ,