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Translations, the Final Frontier

Remember MAKT MYRKRANNA, the lost-and-then-found Icelandic version of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, with a radically different storyline and different characters from the more-familiar English version? I also recently received, for review purposes, a Turkish translation; the latter doesn’t qualify as a true translation, though, as it alters the plot and characters of Stoker’s novel beyond all recognition. As it was written without Stoker’s consent or involvement, we must call it what it is: a rip-off. That’s not to say it can’t prove to be a terrific read in its own right. After all, NOSFERATU was a rip-off, too.

That’s TWO translations, then, where the differences are striking enough that they can count as completely separate works. How many other translations into foreign languages might there be out there, wherein the author doing the translating decided to rewrite Stoker’s manuscript? There’ve been quite a few, no doubt, over the past hundred years. It still surprises me that MAKT MYRKRANNA, aka POWERS OF DARKNESS, existed for all that time and no one ever noticed that it was a totally different version of the story. If language differences are that big of a barrier, there could conceivably be numerous alternate versions of DRACULA in existence just waiting to be discovered.

TheCheezman • October 1, 2018

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