Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

My kingdoms for a copy editor.

Mostly I do not name the books I quit reading, but I am halfway through this copy of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Volume I, and I can't bear it any more. It's not the book, it's the production of it. It's the Tuttle Classics edition, translated by C. H. Brewitt-Taylor, and I don't know whether they got an incompetent copy editor or whether the author overused the stet stamp to the copy editor's chagrin, but there are so many bits that are wrong and so many more that aren't even wrong. Misplaced commas. Completely misspelled English words. Entendres that leave "you are hot, my prince" in the dust.

And this is important to me because I do not know the characters in Romance of the Three Kingdoms very well--I didn't grow up hearing these stories the way some of you did--so if I run into a place where it says Cho where it should say Ch'u, I will not be able to spot it. Hard enough to keep track of characters in an unfamiliar epic with real names used. (With fictional names, the editor can say, "You know, Cho and Ch'u are awfully close, especially since you have Ch'ieh and Chang as well. Maybe one of them could be named Frank or something?") Still harder when you don't have faith that the text has been edited properly. So I'm done with this version, and I'm recommending that any of you interested in this material should read a different translation. Uff da.

(I already got to the bit with the eyeball and the bit with the...er...wife and dinner, let's say. Oh, alecaustin, you look all sweetness and light now.)
Tags: bookses precious
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