wood cat


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations

This is silly: we have the Internet, and therefore this question should be answerable.

This site http://www.tolkien.co.uk/fifty/default.asp , referencing _J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography_ by Wayne G. Hammond, with the assistance of Douglas A. Anderson, says it was to the second edition.

This site http://www.tolkiensociety.org/tolkien/tale.html gives a lot more detail and also indicates that the 1966 editions had a new foreword.

Yes, that's correct. In fact, it was the foreword to the first Swedish translation (published in 1959, thus based on the first edition, and translated by Åke Ohlmarks) that made the connection between LOTR and WWII that Tolkien denies here. He wrote a first reaction to it in 1961.

Ohlmarks's translation and interpretation of LOTR was a very sore point for Tolkien until his death, and for the family after that as well.

Wooo, that is a pissed-off response. Justifiably so, if the translations are accurate.

They are.

Tolkien had several other reasons to be pissed off as well, with the translation an sich. Ohlmarks was a master stylist and tremendously learned, no doubt about it, but he also was very careless (to take one example, his idea of copy-editing was to check if every word was spelt correctly with no regard to context), had a very hard time keeping deadlines (which was aggravated with him being under constant financial strain), had a tendency to stick to his fix ideas and own interpretations no matter what, and subscribed to the theory that a translator's job was as much to adapt the original to the target language/culture as it was to make a faithful translation (a view that was common in the start of his career, though he took it to new lengths). He also added long expositions, while simultaneously cutting out large amounts of text in order to remain at roughly the same length as the original.

I think Ohlmark's translation should be viewed primarily as an independent retelling of LOTR, at which point it becomes a very impressive stylistic work, though marred by literally over a thousand errors (yes, people I know have checked). But it can hardly be viewed as a translation.

I think you just gave every author reading this nightmares. =>

How long was Ohlmarks's the only Swedish-language version available?

Hold on to your hat: from 1959 to 2004 (with a minor revision in 1978 removing several of the most eggregious mistakes).

There was talk in the mid/late-1990s of making a thorough revision, not doing a new translation but forcing Ohlmarks's version to conform to Tolkien's original. My friend who was contacted about doing the work believed it could be done, and I have no reason to doubt her (she's one of the best translators currently active in Sweden).


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