12 Jan 2008
The translation into French of "Jabberwocky" by Henri Bué – said to have been supervised by Dodgson himself – is better than the later version you chose to put up.
One example: the word “wabe” in “did gyre and gimble in the wabe” is, the original tells us, the area around a sun-dial, and it is further glossed in the original (prefiguring a later celebrated annotation version by Martin Gardner) thus:
“ It's called "wabe,' you know because it goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it --". "And a long way beyond it on each side," Alice added. ...”
Bué translated the word "wabe" with a French word of his own invention: “alloinde.” Why “alloinde”? Well, as he explains ventriloquently (un vrai Vattemare) in the text, he packed the portmanteau word “alloinde” thus because “c’est loin devant, et loin derrière, et loin de chaque coté.”
That may be the most memorable, but is not the only example of Bué’’s mastery, in his French translaton that surpassesl later ones,, just as one particular Russian translation of “Alice” (renamed “Anya”),. done for five dollars in Weimar Germany by a young Russian émigré in Berlin, de cuyo nombre non quiero acordarme ( lest the wrong conclusions be drawn) surpasses all of its later rivals in Russian.. Both that French and that Russian translation are available from Dover Books, that has editors with such good taste, and marketers who set such modest prices.
Among English versions, of course, Carroll’s remains the best.
12 Jan 2008
done for five dollars in Weimar Germany by a young Russian émigré in Berlin, de cuyo nombre non quiero acordarme
He gets everywhere doesn't he?
I didn't know about the earlier, better translation into French, but, however clever it is, Jabberwocky fits more naturally into German.
Five dollars? Crikey.