Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Incensed and Insensibility

For good reason the title of this blog is a nod to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. A couple of years ago I bought a copy of Tom Cotton's translation of Pride and Prejudice. After reading it, I began having thoughts of doing my own Latin translation of one of Austen's works. I consulted my wife, who immediately suggested Sense and Sensibility. Part of the fun, she said, would be that we could work on the translation together. By this she meant that we could discuss what Miss Austen meant in the more difficult passages so that I could turn Austenese into Latin.

Below is my rough draft of the first four chapters of Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I hope that one of you out there will read it and perhaps make suggestions, corrections, emendations of my Latin. To facilitate the comparison of the translation with the original, I have made an interlinear translation.

Once the translation is complete and revised, I hope to publish it. My go-to "publisher" had been CreateSpace. Unfortunately, Amazon turned CreateSpace into Kindle Publishing Direct and with that came unwanted changes, chief of which was the edict that they will allow no book to be published in Latin!

I was incensed! Why? Because Latin is not an approved and accepted language. What are the accepted tongues, you ask? Most every known language, including ones you may never have heard of: dead ones like Manx and Cornish (which are spoken as a second language by a few in England).

There are certainly more people who know Latin than Manx and Cornish. Certainly there are not a few at the Vatican who can battle their way through any Latin text. Certainly some of the centuries of books in Latin bear republishing. But no. Apparently not. As insensible as this is, Latin, itself has been put on the INDEX.  Did some nun rap the hell out of the knuckles of some exec at Amazon? Did some priest do the unspeakable? I don't know, but someone in the chain of command has it in for Latin.

What can be done about this? Dunno. I see on the internet that Latin teachers have tried to reason with Amazon. Maybe someone has even written to the pope. But the fact is: the knife has been inserted and all we can do is say, "Et tu, Amazon?"

So, until things change or settle down, here is my first draft. Please, amabo te, let me know what you think. Here is the link you will need to view the pdf:

Maximas ago tibi gratias!