The catalogue playfully made the point that these were books intended for mass consumption. Large colour photographs featured children playing with piles of books, leaning on them, even using them as a windbreak on beaches.
Mirman surmised that the new formula seemed to have answered a real consumer need Similarly, Mirman spoke of feeling constrained by the expense of the technology and the drive to keep prices down. However, as Bourdieu reminds us, individual agents still had room for manoeuvre, and they could still shape the space within which they worked It will ask how the staff working on the production line understood the criteria for selecting content, and how their choices within the range of possibilities available to them shaped the new Hachette books.
Hachette acquired the French translation rights to Enid Blyton in The first print run of the Famous Five in France sold all 20, copies in a matter of weeks. Fouret wrote in that her book sales had been the most striking phenomenon of the modern department This success and subsequent reliance on Blyton seems to have further eroded the weak sense of autonomy amongst staff.
Instead the percentage of modern, imported titles was greatly increased, with the focus on popular Anglo-American series literature, notably works by Enid Blyton for the Rose and the Nancy Drew series from the Stratemeyer syndicate for the Verte. By the late s the list was almost fifty per cent modern translations.
She notes this imprint was allowed to prioritise literary concerns His tone here was deliberately provocative.
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Although most of the regular reading team were mothers, many male authors and translators also produced such reports. Hachette administrative staff regularly earned extra money this way using assumed names. She supplemented her salary with this type of piecework, and she emphasised her suitability for the role by the fact she had two children of reading age. Schiray recalled how she had once debated with one of the other readers whether to recommend the memoirs of a ballet dancer. Schiray noted pointedly that this particular reader subsequently left to work for the more literary Gallimard.
From the early s, Mirman and his team began to conceptualise the content in terms of sub-series, by author or character, within the large and growing lists of the Rose and the Verte. Series literature is distinguished by the repetitive nature of the stories, in which the same characters reappear, and never grow old.
The plots follow similar lines, and while from one book to another there may be a small amount of progression, they do not need to be read in a particular order Mirman commissioned French authors to produce French series along the Blyton and Stratemeyer formulae, which were virtually all variants on the child detective story.
In , the Rose and the Verte contained seventeen sub-series, with 74 titles between them. This number had tripled by , with titles. Still, as many critics pointed out, while the titles and authors were recognisable, the content within was often drastically changed. These new forms of culture had conditioned young readers to expect easy emotions and suspense; books had to be immediately gratifying and easy to consume The emphasis was therefore on pace and length. Considerations of cost meant long complex texts had to be drastically shortened. Dialogues were removed, repetitions dispensed with, and, where it was possible, the lengthy dissertations on biology, botany, geography and other useful areas of knowledge were cut The Poche used bright, bold single image covers to attract the consumer.
The Rose and the Verte had been using a similar technique from the interwar period, but they now placed greater emphasis on using more modern illustrations and cover images to appeal to the young. Contemporary-looking settings and fashionable clothes appeared.
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The English author P. Her choice of wording also alluded to the populist approach of the Poche, considered by many critics to be tacky and overly commercial Furthermore, she added, the depiction of Mrs Banks as a trendy young woman in a mini-skirt was far removed from the delicate and charming lady of the book It is clear that the editors saw the two series as now fitting into popular culture more generally.
In the drive to make books a mass consumer item, the new readers needed objects they could consume in familiar ways.
To carry out this work, Mirman appointed women often secretaries from the department, as well as authors and translators whom he hoped as mothers, rather than teachers, would be pragmatic when it came to selecting material. For Schiray, readers who disagreed with the popular culture influence were working for the wrong press. As highlighted in the introduction, notions of the appropriateness of material for children are historically contingent on, and usually determined by, a combination of internal and external pressures on the publishing house, be they commercial, political, cultural or legal.
It analyses the new complex set of editorial interventions this process generated. While the post-war editor was no longer a genius who shaped tastes, as Fleurent saw it, they might well be called upon to be much more active in the name of child protection. These years also witnessed heightened tensions surrounding the social and humanitarian responsibilities of literature They also led to the law regulating publications for children, which banned the depiction of crime, debauchery and violence that might demoralise young readers The fear that depictions of crime in comics conditioned children to see it as acceptable was common to morality campaigns across the globe However, unlike the American Comics Code, or the laws enacted in Canada and the UK, the wording of the French law covered far more than comics; it extended to all publications for children.
Article three of the law stipulated that publications in France aimed at children would be regulated by a surveillance commission, to whom publishers had to submit five copies of all material after publication. The aim was to create a culture of self-censorship. It also meant that Catholic and Communist morality leagues played a crucial role in the regulation of the industry, as their representatives proved to be the most active members of this commission.
You must modify your text: there are to be no murders, no blood, and the villains must speak in a refined language without cursing A team of quite exceptional correctors scrutinises the texts, analyses them for their overall coherence, and so forth. There is even a weekly meeting, under the direction of the most experienced members, which examines grammatical questions, recurring mistakes, etc.
These were then listed on the back of the report This was well received. How were these new norms for the series enacted and understood by those whose task it was to act as censor? She noted it was very common to cut passages and rewrite them Were they aware of the legislation regulating the trade?
Schiray stated that she had never heard of the law, but she had been very concerned by the Catholic leagues. The correctors asked her to repair the damage. Crucially, she emphasised that it had been the thought of what the Catholic leagues might say, not the suitability of the material for children that had led her to such extremes While Schiray may not have been aware of the legislation, she was certainly worried about the reactions of its enforcers.
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The largest publisher for children at the time certainly took the concerns of the Catholic leagues seriously. As Jude explained, when you cut a sentence, you then had to replace it with another. She rather enjoyed this part of the process, because it allowed her to be creative. Although the department bought the rights to Blyton without too much thought, her books subsequently required a significant number of interventions.
First, all clues to the origins of the books had to be scrupulously removed. Cornwall was easily transposed to Brittany.
The names were Gallicised. Jude recalled taking out scenes of Noddy drinking tea as well as changing the food. Scrumptious bacon and eggs for breakfast were replaced with bowls of hot coffee and delicious croissants, while the endless sticky buns and cakes became tartes aux pommes. The French translators and correctors transposed her language into a much more formal register, making her sentence structures longer and more complex.
Grammatical problems include, for example, questions of temporality, aspectuality the appearance indicates how the process is represented or the state expressed by the verb from the point of view of its development, as opposed to time itself , pronouns, and whether to make explicit the subject pronoun or not. Syntactical problems may originate in syntactic parallels, the direction of the passive voice, the focus the point of view from which a story is organized , or even rhetorical figures of speech, such as a hyperbaton the inversion of the natural order of speech or an anaphora repetition of a word or segment at the beginning of a line or a phrase.
Rhetorical problems are related to the identification and recreation of figures of thought comparison, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, oxymoron, paradox, etc. Cultural issues may arise from differences between cultural references, such as names of food, festivals and cultural connotations, in general.
The translator will use language localization to correctly adapt the translation to the culture targeted. A very simple example is a financial translation which includes dates. However, as everyone knows, the same sequence in another language refers to May 6. Mathieu was born in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
After studying Literature and Linguistic Research, he moved to Argentina where he is currently a translator and a web editor. Pingback: Marjorie, from odd jobs to certified translator. Not to mention administrative issues, computer-related problems and stress… Lexical-semantic problems Lexical-semantic problems can be resolved by consulting dictionaries, glossaries, terminology banks and experts.