Friday, December 08, 2006

Luxurious Reading Experiences

This week Joshua and I completed our last round of books, and we have settled upon two new books that should keep us occupied until the Christmas holidays arrive. Both new books were inspired by our trip last month to Germany.

One book is Thomas Hodgskin's classic two-volume "Travels In The North Of Germany", published in 1820, an examination of virtually all aspects of North German society in the immediate post-Napoleonic era. The other book is Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks".

We are enjoying both books immensely. Both are fascinating and luxurious reading experiences.

The "Buddenbrooks" English translation we are reading is the old H.T. Lowe-Porter, not the more recent John E. Woods.

Josh and I read several reviews comparing the two translations, and we settled upon the Lowe-Porter. In a nutshell, one scholar summarized the Lowe-Porter as "too stuffy" and the Woods as "too snappy", and we elected "stuffy" over "snappy"--especially since a different reviewer noted that Woods's lower-class characters spoke a language that seemed to derive more from the Ozarks of the 20th Century than from the Lubeck of the 19th Century.

No comments:

Post a Comment