Today, Recess! correspondent Terry Harpold is speaking with Walter James Miller.
Brief Sound Clip:
Widely considered the Father of Jules Verne Studies in America, Walter James Miller is a poet, playwright, critic, translator and professor of English at New York University, where he created and taught the Great Books course for many years.
His teaching at engineering colleges in Brooklyn and Colorado helped produce classic articles on technical writing and his first book, Engineers as Writers. At New York University his appointment as full Professor followed his pioneering studies in Jules Verne (e.g., his Annotated Jules Verne series) and his innovative work on television and radio. His NBC documentary Master Builders of America won a Special Award from the Engineers Council for Professional Development. For fifteen years his author-interview show, Readers Almanac, was a fixture on National Public Radio. His verse drama Joseph in the Pit was produced off-Broadway in 1993 and 2002.
The 67 volumes he has authored, co-authored, or to which he has contributed include Making an Angel: Poems, Loves Mainland: New & Selected Poems, book-length studies of Vonnegut, Heller, Sinclair, Beckett, Doctorow, and Bradbury, and most recently, prefaces to Signet Classics editions of Bellamy, Mary Shelley and Verne. In 2003, he wrote the Introduction and annotations for the first-ever English edition of Vernes novel The Mighty Orinoco (Wesleyan University Press, 2003).
As Professor Miller observes in this interview, many of the widely-read English translations of Jules Vernes 64 novels are inaccurate and crudely abridged. Here are some of the recent translations of Verne, made by a new generation of scholars and translators, that capture the authors subtlety, humor, and originality:
Adventures of the Rat Family. Trans. Evelyn Copeland. Eds. Iona Opie
and Brian Taves. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Copyright 2005© Terry Harpold
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