Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dimanche Apres La Guerre (1955)

For Xmas, my brother kindly gave me a French first edition of Miller's Sunday After The War.

This edition is listed as A93 in Shifreen and Jackson's Henry Miller bibliography. It was published in Paris in 1955 by Éditions du Chêne, which is still in business. The publishing house was started in 1941 by 21-year old Maurice Girodias, son of Jack Kahane. In 1949, Maurice was in financial trouble and had no choice but to sell du Chene and his father's Obelisk Press, to France's dominant Hachette book company (Girodias later redeemed himself in 1953 by creating Olympia Press). A decade later, Grove Press would battle with Editions du Chene to get publishing rights to Miller's work, which they owned after the Girodias acquisitions.

The rights to Sunday After The War, however, appear to have originated with New Directions, which published the first English edition in 1944, and subsequent copies in 1945 and 1961 (source: William Ashley)

Inside the book, it advertizes a du Chene edition of Tropique Du Capricorne, as well as Obelisk English editions of Tropic Of Cancer, Tropic Of Canpricorn and Black Spring. Dimanche was printed in 1955 by 'Brodard et Taupin' then shipped to the offices of Editions du Chene at 4, rue de Galliera, Paris.

My search of the French shows only three editions in French: this 1955 version; a 1977 edition published by Stock as part of their Littérature Etrangère series; and a 1993 Stock reprint.

Miller's words were translated for this edition by Georges Belmont (a friend of his who would later interview him for Playboy).

Inside the back cover of the book is a full page biography of Henry up to 1955, which includes the photo of him [at left]. The final words of the bio are "Henry Miller vit aux Etats-Unis dans une petite ville de Californie."
La Sagesse Du Coeur
Reflexions Sur L'Art D'Ecrire
L'Art Et L'Avenir
Lettre Aux Surrealistes En Tous Lieux
Preface Originale A "Hollywood's Hallucination" (Original Preface To ..)
Un Etre Etoilique
L'Obscure Monomanie (Shadowy Monomania [D.H. Lawrence])
Puissance de la Mort
L'Univers de la Mort
Le Pont de Brooklyn

This collection really isn't true to the original English collection of works under this title. I know a bit of French, and am only realizing this out as I compose this blog entry. Not close at all, actually. Some of these are from Cosmological Eye, some later to be printed in Wisdom Of The Heart.

I hope to compare the French translation to Miller's English original, in order to better acquaint myself with the French language. Wish me luck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good way to improve your French! One paragraph in English, then the same paragraph in its translation. I recommended this technique to an anglophone friend a few years ago using one of my favorite essays by Miller «Stand Still Like The Hummingbird » (Amazon. ca. link) : . The French version «L’oiseau-mouche» is a much bigger volume with extras from other books by Henry (and of course it costs twice as much); here is the link anyway :
Bonne Chance!
Pierre from Montreal
P.S. Hemingway used a similar technique in order to polish his French and Spanish, albeit reading only the main stories of newspapers…!!!

12:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know your brother, but he's obviously the best brother in the world!

Would you happen to have a larger version of the photo of Miller by any chance?

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