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What's going on across the pond ? 
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Centennial Attendee

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:08 am
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Location: Nice, France
Post What's going on across the pond ?
Hi, Jack !

Jack Kelly wrote:
I have encouraged Eric to start a topic on this board to discuss
what's going on across the pond.

Well.. A couple of years ago, it would still have been a rather sad picture,
as far as France was concerned.

In the 60s, French SF literary critic, and the board of the leading magazines,
were dominated by a few guys who, after Pierre Versins, painted the usual
"militarist, fascist, sexist" tag on Heinlein's back — no need to elaborate,
they weren't any more imaginative than English-speaking critics, and Spider
Robinson detailed such "analysis" in his "Rah ! Rah! RAH !" essay.

It got worse in the 70s, with the post-68 generation of "political SF" who
made Heinlein the symbol of everything they disliked. At least, Versins
had actually read his books...

The result was that many major Heinlein works remain untranslated
in French (no Time Enough for Love, no Number of the Beast ; but it's
not just the late, more difficult novels : no Rolling Stones and no Waldo
either...) ; other, such as Red Planet (one of my personal favourites) had
been translated once, in the 50s, but remained unavailable ever since.
And even the books easily available in French suffered from very cheap
translations. Just an example : for about 30 years and half a dozen different
editions of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, TANSTAAFL translated as URGESAT,
"un repas gratuit est supérieur à tout", literally "a free lunch is above
everything" ; you couldn't make a worse mistranslation, and nobody cared.

No wonder, thus, if Heinlein isn't as well considered by French
readers as he is in the rest of the world.

Things are fortunately changing now, with a new generation of editors.
Decent, revised translations are offered, and it seems likely that the
remaining untranslated texts will progressively appear in French.

I have myself published this year, with another SF author, Ugo Bellagamba,
Solutions non satisfaisantes, une anatomie de Robert A. Heinlein,
a non-fiction book trying to introduce and explain Heinlein's work to the
French public (we had hoped to have a limited hardcover pre-print
ready for the Centennial, but it finally wasn't possible), which has been
rather well received. The university of Nice also organized an
interdisciplinary workshop on Heinlein's works in may 2007,
"Robert A. Heinlein et la pédagogie du réel". [*]

So I guess we can be reasonnably optimistic enough, about French SF
finally getting the point.



[*] Jim : this was the picture on the back of Anouk's T-shirt in KC !


Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:57 pm
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
You didn't mention the French forum about Robert Heinlein : http://heinlein.freeforums.org

and the associated French site : http://heinlein.free.fr


Mon May 05, 2008 4:41 am
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Heinlein Biographer

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:33 pm
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
Once I get back to working on the Journal, I hope to make a suitable translation of a chapter from Solutions nonfaisantes, or possibly the introduction, or both and submit them to Eric and Ugo for approval. If the fates cooperate, an English translation of at least part will be available sooner rather than later. There will be a critical review in any case, if I can browbeat a Francophone friend into writing it!


Mon May 05, 2008 5:39 pm
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Centennial Attendee
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:40 pm
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Location: Villefranche-sur-mer, France
Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
Priscille Daumal wrote:
You didn't mention the French forum about Robert Heinlein : http://heinlein.freeforums.org

Here you can find a post in the Non-French Speaking Zone, about the forum :
http://heinlein.freeforums.org/welcome-t172.html

Priscille Daumal wrote:
and the associated French site : http://heinlein.free.fr

It is still a work in progress for me.
And about the name, 17, rue Dante, well... we live near Nice, France... remember Glory Road ?
This street and this building are for real. But we don't have the keys.

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still crazy after all these years


Tue May 06, 2008 3:52 am
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
Eric Picholle wrote:
The university of Nice also organized an
interdisciplinary workshop on Heinlein's works in may 2007,
"Robert A. Heinlein et la pédagogie du réel". [*]

Some pictures from this workshop.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/still-crazy/sets/72157601056024060/
Eric Picholle wrote:
[*] Jim : this was the picture on the back of Anouk's T-shirt in KC !

8-) The T-shirt was just for both of us to wear, to promote Heinlein at french SF cons,
and to show that there were different events about him that year.
So here is the picture in the back :
Image

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Tue May 06, 2008 4:29 am
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
Anouk Arnal wrote:
And about the name, 17, rue Dante, well... we live near Nice, France... remember Glory Road ? This street and this building are for real. But we don't have the keys.

Heh. I will actually be in Nice briefly this summer. I should look up the building.

(How briefly? Don't blink...)

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Tue May 06, 2008 7:28 am
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
Eric Picholle wrote:
TI guess we can be reasonnably optimistic enough, about French SF finally getting the point.!

You're an optimist indeed... :|

Quote:
I have myself published this year, with another SF author, Ugo Bellagamba,
Solutions non satisfaisantes, une anatomie de Robert A. Heinlein,
a non-fiction book trying to introduce and explain Heinlein's work

And an excellent work too ! I learned a lot about Heinlein, his poloitics, and most especially his science : Heinlein & the atom bomb, Heinlein & quantum science, Heinlein & parapsychology..... I hope it will be translated and published in the U.S.A.


Fri May 30, 2008 11:29 pm
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
James Gifford wrote:
Heh. I will actually be in Nice briefly this summer. I should look up the building.
(How briefly? Don't blink...)

Sigh.
Jim got ashore not 50m from my place this morning, in the (rather beautiful,
if I may say so) bay of Villefranche sur mer. But I guess I blinked ! :cry:

(so now he'll just have to come back !)


Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:51 pm
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Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
I've said this in various email and forum posts, but -

I'm deeply sorry to have missed Eric and Ugo in Nice. We missed by a matter of a few stray electrons, with urgent email relayed via Bill Patterson being received only after we'd reboarded ship and were about to sail.

As my wife agrees, "Oh, darn, we'll have to go back." Maybe I will have better luck explaining the curious practices of French Riviera beaches to my 8yo son in a return visit. :oops:

(I must say he was the perfect well-traveled gentleman, showing no particular reaction to the sunbathing beauties, but he had some interesting questions on the tender ride back to the ship...)

_________________
"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:19 pm
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Centennial Attendee

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:08 am
Posts: 29
Location: Nice, France
Post Re: What's going on across the pond ?
James Gifford wrote:
"Oh, darn, we'll have to go back."

:idea: Quite logical, indeed !
`
Quote:
Maybe I will have better luck explaining the curious practices of French Riviera
beaches to my 8yo son in a return visit. :oops:

Have him read the begining of Glory Road, as a travel guide ! :D


By the way, you also missed by a few days a paper on RAH's influence
on the space program (through his juvenile, Destination Moon, and so on)
that just appeared on the July issue of Ciel & Espace, the leading (and
rather widely circulated) French popular review on astronomy and space.
(being able to quote Michael Griffin, from the Centennial, didn't hurt...)


Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:43 am
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