Mister Monday

Abe Gross argross at bigpond.net.au
Tue Sep 23 10:31:25 EDT 2003


Charles wrote:

> Garth Nix's UK editor Stella Paskins (yes, the same one who publishes DWJ
> and who came to the pub meet) has become aware of our discussions on the
> US/Oz nature of Mister Monday, and helpfully sent the following
explanation
> to put us out of our misery:
>
> "Basically, Garth Nix's primary publisher for the series is Scholastic in
> USA - they publish the book first, and the US editor is who Garth works
> with.
> Garth actually writes "Australian" as it were, but it's natural that in
the
> US they want American spellings and phrasing, so after all the main
> structural work, it would be copy-edited and "Americanised" in the
process."

I know I'm going to sound narky here--but *why* is it "natural" to want
American spellings and phrasings in the US? What's wrong with saying, Well,
this is an Australian author, so he speaks "Australian"? Australians manage
to read "American" with no problems. I know that "American" is popularized
on TV and so on, but I don't see why Americans can't adapt to someone else's
idiosyncracies of speech. (I'm not arguing with *you*, Charlie--I guess it's
the publishers I'm annoyed with.)

> Stella goes on to explain that the Australian publishers have to produce
> their edition pretty quickly after the US one for contractual reasons, so
> wouldn't have time to do any (or at any rate much?) work to Australianize
> it - or re-Australianize it, perhaps. The UK edition by contrast isn't
> coming out till January, giving Stella as editor time to do a more
thorough
> job Anglicizing it - in consultation with Nix, natch. She also adds that
Nix
> "hasn't actually set his story anywhere in particular. You need to believe
> it might be your city - or a city of your choice - when you read it." So
> those of us who detected a generic element in the setting were on the
money.
> But it's emphatically not an attempt at dumbing down - just a matter of
> publishing practicalities.

I understand that. I do think they made a bit of a botch-up with the
Australian edition, though.

> There's obviously a thesis in here somewhere...

:-)

Thanks for passing this on, Charlie. The explanation does make sense, though
it still annoys me that things have to be "translated" for American
audiences in the first place.

Ros

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