Our Books

This was the Man (Lui)

Author: Louise Colet

Translator: Graham Anderson   Cover design: Marie Lane  

Graham Anderson's translations of both Sand's and Colet's novels are faithful and highly readable, with short but helpful introductions. Both books have been translated before Sand's Elle et Lui was translated by an American, George Burnham Ives(1856-1930), a man remarkable for having turned to literary translation while serving eight and a half years in a Boston Prison for embezzlement and forgery. His translation was called She and He, and suffers from a stuffy, excessively formal prose style that doesn't replicate Sand's voice very well. Anderson's translation is far better:his prose is tighter, better paced, more natural sounding, modern without being anachronistic.
Colet's novel Lui was translated in 1986 by Marilyn Gaddis Rose as Lui:A View of Him, now out of print. Both Rose and Anderson provide excellent, responsible, readable translations. Anderson provides notes for many cultural references and allusions....the new translation is welcome, both because the novel is a pleasure to read in his vigorous English version, and because it might help some readers to a new appreciation of Louise Colet herself, who deserves better treatment than she has been give by literary history. The Sand novel is for Sand completists. The Colet is for the rest of us.

Raymond N. MacKenzie in The London Review of Books

Sand's and Colet's novels are fascinating when read in conversation. Sometimes they dance in harmony, sometimes they duel with one another, not just in their portrayal of the central couple, but in their views of love and its meanings. Their appeal to a contemporary audience is heightened by Anderson's lively translations, which capture the mood of mid-nineteenth-century Paris, yet also make the books seem acutely up-to-date. He is not averse to to rearranging long, winding sentences, and often finds images in English that exactly and inventively render the French ones.

Michele Roberts in The Times Literary Supplement

RRP: £11.99

No. of pages: 416

Publication date: 02.09.2022

Re-print date: 02.09.2022

ISBN numbers:
978 1 912868 80 3

World English in this translation