Sunday, July 12, 2009

More from the French Chestertonian

When it comes to translations of Chesterton’s works into French, the Nouvelle Revue Francaise published The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Hill. Plon published Heretics, The Eternal (sic) Man, Manalive (Supervivant!), St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Thomas of Aquinas in the 20s and 30s. A site called the Catalogue de la bibliotheque de Paul Claudel includes all the information on works by Chesterton owned by Claudel. Is there a list of all books owned by Chesterton? [I have written to several people asking this question, so far no answers. -NCB]
Paul Claudel translated Orthodoxy and Valery Larbaud created quite a stir when he corrected Claudel’s errors. I don’t know when the translation was first published but Claudel was an early fan. I’m sure that I’ll be able to dig up titles and publishers of the French versions. What I don’t know is whether French copyright law will let a French Website to publish Chesterton. The French need a Martin Ward!
As soon as I dig in and find out how to get a hold of the French translations of Chesterton, you can see about using those instead of relying on automatic translators.
Nouvelle Revue Francaise viewed Chesterton’s writings as extremely important in their effort to evangelize and catechize a country traumatized and paganized as a result of persecution by the civil authorities. France needs Chesterton even more today!

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