Monday, September 24, 2018

Revenge of the Cathars?

This is *not* a French edition of Tintin's adventures, but a translation of same to the Provencal dialect of Occitan, a language spoken in southern France. Provencal used to be an important language during the Middle Ages (think Provencal love poetry), but today the language has fallen on hard times. Indeed, the translation of “The Seven Crystal Balls” and its sequel, “Prisoners of the Sun”, to Provencal was part of a local ethno-linguistic revival campaign. The translator, Michel Laurent, was a professor of Provencal and a member of a cultural collective devoted to defending the language. Strictly speaking, the translation is to the Rhodanniene or Rodanenc version of Provencal, codified by the Nobel Prize winner Frederic Mistral. The edition printed was very limited, only 8,000 copies per volume, if I recall correctly. Good story arc, too! Only problem: it has absolutely no connection to Provence…

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