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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/771553-Dilemma-of-Les-Miserables
by spidey
Rated: 13+ · Book · Biographical · #1207864
If you don't have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?
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#771553 added January 14, 2013 at 8:48am
Restrictions: None
Dilemma of Les Miserables
(I posted this in my journal, but I'm putting it here, too, in the hopes that more people see it and can maybe help me out.) *Smile*

I want to read Les Miserables, but I can't figure out which translation to read... I should have bought it when I saw it at Barnes & Noble this weekend. It was only $5! But it was hardcover and 908 pages... I'd rather have it on my kindle so I don't have to lug around that huge book...

The problem is that there are soooo many translations. Some are abridged, which have good reviews from people who apparently don't like to read and poor reviews from academic elitists. I don't know where I fit in... I mean, I tend to like unabridged versions better; I'd rather read what the author intended, but there are several translations... *sigh*

I mean, I don't mind reading about the Battle at Waterloo. I thought it was one of the most emotional parts of the story. I love stories of revolution! So far the translations I can find for the kindle:

*Bullet* Norman Denny - $10.64 - 1236 pages - modern, British translation
*Bullet* Charles E Wilbour - $13.99 - 1280 pages - first American, more traditional translation
*Bullet* Florence Hapgood - $2.99 - 962 pages
*Bullet* James K Robinson - $.99 - 1729 pages (One reviewer says Fantine is completely absent from this version)
*Bullet* Bookcaps - $2.99 - 2211 pages - described as "in plain English," and includes study guide, historical context, character index, etc.
*Bullet* Public Domain Books - $0.00 - 959 pages - the free, abridged version

Here is something I found:

Here's a little comparison of...three modern versions along with the old Wilbour version. It involves a short description of the character Tholomy├Ęs:
“a thirty-year-old, ill-preserved rake” (Denny)
“a high liver, thirty years old, and in poor shape” (Fahnestock & MacAfee)
"a wasted high roller of thirty” (Rose)
"a good liver, thirty years old and ill preserved" (Wilbour)


From these, Denny sounds more the style I'd like to read, I think... I've read that Rose's translation is more modern, which I'm not sure I'd like and it's not available on the Kindle, anyway, so it's out. From what I've read, I'm leaning toward Denny's translation, as he has said it's important for a translator to capture the "spirit" of the original.

Now that I look at the list, the 908-page book I saw at B&N was probably one of the abridged versions, so I'm glad I didn't buy it...


Can anyone help me here? Have you read any version of the story? What do you recommend? I'm definitely leaning toward staying away from the free/cheap ones.

This is horrible but funny: A video of someone's parents' reaction to seeing the film. No spoilers here because they can't stop crying long enough to actually talk about the film...



That's kind of how I felt watching it yesterday. There were moments where I felt totally overcome with grief and just a strong emotional connection to what the characters were feeling, their motivations and fears and love, and just everything. It's so weird that the first time I watched it, I didn't feel that as much. I came home and said to Mr. J, "I liked it, but I doubt I'd watch it again. It was just so sad..." And then the next morning, I was already feeling like I wanted to see it again... *Laugh* Now I can't wait to buy it and watch it all the time!





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