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All Things Phantom!! > Leroux Translations

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message 1: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 277 comments I was shell-shocked when I found out a few days ago that the de Mattos translation of Leroux's novel was slightly inaccurate and highly abridged! Is this true? Does anyone here know of any better translations? I was really unnerved when I heard that!


message 2: by L. (last edited Jul 05, 2011 11:51AM) (new)

L. (weavelin) | 34 comments I wouldn't say it's inaccurate, but I will say that the de Mattos translation is highly, highly, highly abridged. The only thing I really enjoy about it is its stilted Victorian prose that makes it feel like Phantom to me; beyond that, it isn't worth reading. What's most unfortunate is it's the most widely published translation and is probably the one you'll first read without chance and careful planning. (As a general rule of thumb for editions of Phantom of the Opera: unless it tells you who the translator is, it's going to be the de Mattos translation.)

The best translation out so far that I have read (there are a couple that came out in the last five years that I haven't had time to compare yet, namely the L'Officier one) is the Lowell Bair translation: http://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Opera-B... The text is somewhat Americanized, but it's the most complete and accurate to the original Leroux. It's also the translation I wish were public domain so I could use it for the basis of the annotated Phantom of the Opera I'm working on... someday!


message 3: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 277 comments Thank you sooooo much, Lindsay! I was scared to death that I was missing something with my de Mattos version and didn't know what to do with myself. Talk about nasty surprises! I hate abridgements!


message 4: by L. (new)

L. (weavelin) | 34 comments I hate abridgements, too! No point in reading a book if it's not the author's original conception of the story!

At the very least, the de Mattos translation gives the bare minimum of the story.. but it cuts out a lot of description, Off the top of my head, I know there's a substantial paragraph about Sorelli completely cut out, a paragraph or two when Erik first abducts Christine and he sings her to sleep on a harp... some later bits by the Daroga describing Erik as Houdin and Charon...

To me, it feels like a totally different book because you get so much more context than de Mattos gives you.


message 5: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 277 comments I recall mention of that paragraph with the harp. As a matter of fact, my first thought was "I don't remember reading this" and it hit me that I'd been reading an abridgement for years. Eek! Thanks again for your help!


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann | 30 comments I am a fan of the Leonard Wolf translation, having discovered it at the recommendation of another Phantom admirer and critic. It is much more complete than the de Mattos translation and full of interesting footnotes.


message 7: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 277 comments Has anyone read both the Bair and the Wolf translations? If so, which one did you prefer? I have no problem with purchasing multiple translations, but that could get pricy...


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann | 30 comments Gemma Irene wrote: "Has anyone read both the Bair and the Wolf translations? If so, which one did you prefer? I have no problem with purchasing multiple translations, but that could get pricy..."

I have not yet had the chance to read the Bair translation, Gemma. I will certainly let you (and others here) know how the two compare when I get a chance to read it. But I can tell you the Wolf translation is much more complete than the de Mattos version and, based on what others have said here, it sounds like the Bair translation is also more thorough and detailed. Other Phantom admirers/fans I lknow have also said this about the Bair translation.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann | 30 comments Just an update on this thread for anyone who is interested....I recently acquired the Mirelle Ribiere translation, which was recently updated with new annotations and a new introduction (published by Penguin classics). According to others who are more knowledgeable about Phantom, this is the definitive translation to-date. I will post more here once I have had the chance to read it and compare to Leonard Wolf. Cheers! :-)


message 10: by Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (last edited Dec 09, 2012 11:53AM) (new)

Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* (thepiratewench) | 413 comments Mod
Thanks Ann! And please do post more once you have read it and compared to Leonard Wolf..Im sure others here would be interested :)


message 11: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 3 comments Hello.

Does anyone know which translation is used in this edition of the book? I can't find the info on any webpage and the publisher hasn't got back to me yet.

https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/...

Thanks


message 12: by Celina (new)

Celina | 8 comments Elentarri wrote: "Hello.

Does anyone know which translation is used in this edition of the book? I can't find the info on any webpage and the publisher hasn't got back to me yet.

https://www.panmacmillan.com/autho..."


I've seen that cover, and I'm pretty sure it's the de Mattos translation. If it doesn't say on the cover, then typically it's the de Mattos translation, because that one is in the public domain and so the translator does not have to be listed.


message 13: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 3 comments @Celina: Thank you very very much!


message 14: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 3 comments For everyone's interest:

https://phantomstheater.weebly.com/tr...


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