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).

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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.

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March 12, 2008

Of old people and things that pass

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 3:47 pm

Today marks the start of the Boekenweek, the Dutch week to promote books. This year’s motto is “Of old people…,” after Louis Couperus’ classic 1906 psychological novel Of Old People and Things That Pass… The theme focuses on old age, both in people and books, and has already been criticised by those who feel that youngsters should be encouraged to read books, not discouraged.

More interesting for 24 Oranges readers may be that Alexander Teixeira de Mattos’ classic translation of Couperus’ masterpiece has recently become available in many formats at the Internet Archive. If anyone would like a version that is more accessible (plain text, HTML, PDF), let me know and I’ll try and post one here. The Dutch version is available from DBNL.org.

Of Old People follows a couple of murderers in their old age, and their children and grand children, and shows how one gruesome act committed many years ago is felt in the family today.

(Picture: Louis Couperus)

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