Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2007 Chinese Language Edition, Moby-Dick

Try and type in the google box: Chinese Edition of Moby-Dick. You will find its pretty much of a dead end. Actually, go to EBAY or ABE BOOKS and try to search for Moby-Dick in Chinese... doesn't really work.

After I bought the Japanese edition (earlier post), I decided I needed a Chinese edition... so on the next visit to my son's home in Brooklyn, I took a side trip to Canal St. to find Moby Dick in Chinese. Oh, that was a chore as well, try to google search Chinese Book Store in Manhattan...

While the clerk at the Kinokuniya Bookstore (Japanese Bookstore in NYC) knew what I was talking about... The clerk in the Chinese Bookstore had no idea what I was talking about. Granted if they asked me if I had an English edition of Dream of the Red Chamber I would have no idea... oh wait I have one... well anyway..

So, later I was sharing the Moby Dick collection with Adam O'Brien, Library Specialist at the Schaffer Library of Union College, and he took a keen interest in the foreign language section, he was able to get me the ISBN numbers for the Chinese editions:

However, searching the internet brought me only to Chinese bookstore websites only in China, and the google translate this was not very helpful.

Alas, this was taking more than a year now... I called the local bookstore, BOOKHOUSE and had a nice chat with them, gave me the name of a bookstore in Cambridge MA, that does a nice business in foreign language books, so I called them, the gent there said "sure no problem, we can get you one. Let me check on price and availabilty and Ill call you back." I am still waiting for that call... HAHAHA.

Dead ends abound, "Have ya seen the Chinese white whale" Nope, no, nyet .. but thanks to Adam I know it exists... I caught but a glimpse.

Enter my daughter, Sarah, over for a visit from Boston. While I was telling her this story, she said,"my colleague, Stephanie, was born in China, maybe she can help." Stephanie proved to be the key to this. Apparently, Sarah and Stephanie had a lot of back and forth about how to even translate the title "Moby-Dick" into Chinese to quiry someone in China, however she ultimately contacted a friend in Beijing who had a friend in Shaghai, and on Christmas Day, my daughter proudly handed me a DHL package... right from China.. and #72 was in it..

One interesting note about this edition, the text runs left to right, front to back. The Chinese Government, decreed that all books would be printed this way, not the traditional Top to bottom, back to front.. as the Japanese edition is.

SO, I am thinking .... I need an older version... maybe the 1994 or 1995 were printed top to bottom.. or an edition from Taiwan, or Korea.... ... hummmm mmm

Next Post: Moby-Dick in Russian with illustrations.

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