Retranslating a book is a strange exercise. Verne was first translated in his lifetime, but the adaptations (you could hardly call them translations) reordered scenes, inserted new ones, changed the names and locations of characters… But since those 19th Century translations, many revered translators have lavished considerable care and research on giving Verne his due. Even so, having loved the book as a child, I couldn’t resist the temptation to be – if only for a while – one of the world’s great science fiction writers.
Praise for “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”
Journeys are inherent in literature and almost every protagonist, as Jane Smiley points out in her introduction, has a task they must accomplish despite obstacles. Newly and well translated by Frank Wynne, this classic feels resonant in the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth and sheds insight into what it means to make a journey at all – and why we are so gripped by reading about them.
Anita Sethi, Independent