The Jumping Frog - Mark Twain - ebook
Kategoria: Humanistyka Język: angielski Rok wydania: 1865

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Mark Twain

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Mark Twain's "The Jumping Frog : In English, then in French, then clawed back into the civilized language once more by patient unremunerated toil" (1865), also known as "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog."

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About

Prologue

About Twain:

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 — April 21, 1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, writer, and lecturer. Twain is most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He is also known for his quotations. During his lifetime, Clemens became a friend to presidents, artists, leading industrialists, and European royalty. Clemens enjoyed immense public popularity, and his keen wit and incisive satire earned him praise from both critics and peers. American author William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature." Source: Wikipedia

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THE NOTORIOUS JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY

In English. Then in French. Then clawed back into a civilized language once more by patient, unremunerated toil.


Prologue

 

Even a criminal is entitled to fair play; and certainly when a man who has done no harm has been unjustly treated, he is privileged to do his best to right himself. My attention has just been called to an article some three years old in a French Magazine entitled, Revue des Deux Mondes (Review of Some Two Worlds), wherein the writer treats of “Les Humoristes Americaines” (These Humorists Americans). I am one of these humorists Americans dissected by him, and hence the complaint I am making.

This gentleman’s article is an able one (as articles go in the French, where they always tangle up everything to that degree that when you start into a sentence you never know whether you are going to come out alive or not). It is a very good article, and the writer says all manner of kind and complimentary things about me—for which I am sure I thank him with all my heart; but then why should he go and spoil all his praise by one unlucky experiment? What I refer to is this: he says my Jumping Frog is a funny story, but still he can’t see why it should ever really convulse any one with laughter—and straightway proceeds to translate it into French in order to prove to his nation that there is nothing so very extravagantly funny about it. Just there is where my complaint originates. He has not translated it at all; he has simply mixed it all up; it is no more like the Jumping Frog when he gets through with it than I am like a meridian of longitude. But my mere assertion is not proof; wherefore I print the French version, that all may see that I do not speak falsely; furthermore, in order that even the unlettered may know my injury and give me their compassion, I have been at infinite pains and trouble to retranslate this French version back into English; and to tell the truth. I have well-nigh worn myself out at it, having scarcely rested from my work during five days and nights. I cannot speak the French language, but I can translate very well, though not fast, I being self-educated. I ask the reader to run his eye over the original English version of the Jumping Frog, and then read the French or my retranslation, and kindly take notice how the Frechman has riddled the grammar. I think it is the worst I ever saw; and yet the French are called a polished nation. If I had a boy that put sentences together as they do, I would polish him to some purpose. Without further introduction, the Jumping Frog, as I originally wrote it, was as follows [after it will be found the French version, and after the latter my retranslation from the French]: