Waugh in Translation

Adelphi Edizioni, an Italian publishing company, has announced the publication of an Italian translation of Waugh’s 1952 book The Holy Places. This was previously issued as a separate book by Ian Fleming’s Queen Ann Press in identical UK and US numbered editions, although the latter edition contained some corrections and edits by Waugh. It originally appeared in slightly different form in Life magazine as “The Plight of the Holy Places”, (24 December 1951) and, with “additions and alterations,” in Month magazine (March 1952) as “The Defense of the Holy Places”. Here’s a translation of the Italian publisher’s description:

In 1951 the cynical, caustic, Catholic Evelyn Waugh sets foot in the Holy Land, an eternal minefield, and has the courage to have his say, as only he knew how to do – with devotion, curiosity and wonder at the splendor of the places – on a wound never healed in every soul, believer or non-believer.

The translation is by Daniele V. Filippi and the book (weighing at 61 pp.) appears in the publisher’s Microgrammi series entitled I Luoghi Santi. A digital edition is also available.

The same publisher has also issued translations of Labels (Etichette, 2006, translated by Franco Salvatorelli) and Waugh in Abyssinia (In Abissinia, 2011, translated by David Mezzacapa and Luciana Pansini Verga). Here is a translation of the publisher’s description of the book about Abyssinia:

This book should have been called War in Abyssinia. Good title: dry, factual, exotic. Nobody knew anything about Abyssinia in 1934, even though the country was the only African state co-opted into the League of Nations and its young despot was a media ward – Man of the Year for Time in 1935. But now about that immense coffee plantation was about to be taken over …

The publishers miss the point of the English title which was a pun on the title suggested in the blurb. That would, no doubt, have been impossible to render into Italian. It has some history, as Waugh had objected to the punnish title but lost out in discussions with the publisher who had suggested it.

The Holy Places has apparently never been reissued in book form in English. Although a reference to its inclusion in something called the Mazal Holocaust Collection appears in a World Catalogue search, there is no publication date other than 1953. It is included in EAR which seems to have adopted Month’s version together with the corrections and edits that Waugh made in the US edition (p. 420, note) and in the 2003 Everyman edition of collected travel writings: Waugh Abroad, edited by Nicholas Shakespeare.  A Spanish edition of the book was issued in 2011: Jerusalén: viaje a los Santos Lugares, and it may have been included with a Hungarian translation of Helena. This was issued in 2010 with the title Heléna; A szent helek.

An Icelandic edition of Brideshead Revisited has also recently appeared. This was issued in book form in 2019 and in electronic format in 2021. It is entitled in Icelandic Endurfundir á Brideshead   and is published by Ugla. Here’s a translated excerpt from the publisher’s description:

Brideshead Revisited was voted one of the 100 best novels in the world by Time magazine. It is the most popular book by the English stylist Evelyn Waugh, who is traditionally considered one of the leading authors of English literature in the twentieth century. […]  Brideshead Revisited is Evelyn Waugh’s first book to be published in Icelandic. Hjalti Þorleifsson translated it into Icelandic.

A review of the Icelandic translation of Brideshead appeared in a recent edition of Evelyn Waugh Studies (No. 50.3, Winter 2019) which is available at this link.

UPDATE (25 Feb 2022): Thanks to Dave Lull for providing a link to the EWS issue that I had inadvertently misfiled.

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