DWJ sans frontiers

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Jun 9 07:28:29 EDT 2005


>--- minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>
>> They also asserted that nobody in America would know
>> what "muesli" was --
>> so DWJ sent them the American muesli packet she
>> happened to have in her
>> house, with the name writ large on it along with
>> "Made in the USA" or
>> equivalent, and she won that argument.  Or at least
>> I think she did.  Does
>> anyone have an American edition called *Aunt Maria*,
>> and could they check
>> that what Mig is forced to eat in the orphanage is
>> still muesli?

 and Jon marvelled:

>Surely Muesli must be pretty universal, I can remember
>hating the stuff way back in  the 1960s . If it had
>reached Australia then it must have also infected the
>US.

Well, yes, it was available in the US at that time.  It
was available from a store directly across the street
from the publisher who was denying its existence, as
DWJ found out by asking a friend who lived local to go
and have a look for her.  Why it had to be quibbled
about is beyond the wit of man or woman, really, but it
does go to demonstrate that looking for rational
explanations when it comes to American translations may
be folly.

This is not intended as a slur on Americans; it is a
comment on a particular situation.  Not, as we know, a
unique incident: there have been others of DWJ's books
that have been furkled about with for no apparent
reason other than a wish to prove that a publisher
(whether American or British) has a function, and that
function is to *improve* things.

And as we also know, the word "change" and the word
"improve" are now interimproveable.

Minnow


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