Jules Verne Forum




From: <margot~at~VNET.IBM.COM>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 96 08:04:20 EST
To: JVF~at~leeor.technion.ac.il

Bonjour, Good Morning or Evening, Guten Tag...

Norman Wolcott wants to know the explanation of this strange title.

When a book is translated into another language (here with JV from
french to english and/or american), the title has to be translated too.
As for many american translations, the title translations were poor,
when not criminal...
The Children of Captain Grant became In Search of the Castaways,
Hector Servadac became Off the Comet. In some cases, the marketing
reasons were dominant... In some other cases, it was difficult, when not
impossible, to translate a "jeu de mots" (I don't know if the french
expression has a translation into english) in the title into another
language. HECTOR SERVADAC and SANS DESSUS DESSOUS belong to this last
category :
- HECTOR SERVADAC : if you write SERVADAC from right to left to get
  CADAVRES which means corpses (dead bodies of human beings).
- SANS DESSUS DESSOUS : even in french the expression does not exist
  and usually is written SENS DESSUS DESSOUS, which means "Topsy
  Turvy". But Verne himself wrote a letter which was an answer to
  a journalist of Amiens who found that the title of the recently
  published new vernian novel had a spelling mistake ! And Verne
  explained that SANS has to be written with an A and not with an E.
  Why ? Verne wanted to say SANS DESSUS ni DESSOUS, which means
  "Without Top nor Bottom". Litterally translated SANS DESSUS DESSOUS
  would be WITHOUT TOP BOTTOM, which does'nt make any sense.

        Regards, Freundliche Gruesse, meilleures salutations,

        Jean-Michel Margot MARGOT at WTSCPOK.VNET.IBM.COM
Received on Fri 29 Mar 1996 - 15:30:39 IDT

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