argross at bigpond.net.au
Tue Sep 23 10:31:25 EDT 2003
> 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
> 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
> Garth actually writes "Australian" as it were, but it's natural that in
> US they want American spellings and phrasing, so after all the main
> structural work, it would be copy-edited and "Americanised" in the
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
> job Anglicizing it - in consultation with Nix, natch. She also adds that
> "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
> 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.
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