Réponse de Eric Eldred (Eldritch Press) (site n° 7)

(3 décembre 2000)

Hi Russon,

Thanks for the interesting comparison (as far as I could tell.) The other sites are quite nice and I am glad to have these works--so much better than my own humble efforts--available on the WWW, since de Maupassant surely deserves more attention from readers in this millennium.

Sorry, I regret I am unable to read or write French--I think after our election fiasco in the U.S. I will need to emigrate to your lovely northern neighborhood, and so I should start immediately to learn your beautiful languages myself!

My text of de Maupassant was merely an early experiment in creating a side-by-side text of the French and English, so those learning the other language could find something useful on the web, especially blind readers using a text-to-speech synthesizer and a web browser such as Lynx. I was also especially concerned about the early predominance of English texts (especially texts in "ASCII" that did not include Latin 1 accents), and I tried to use HTML to broaden the perspective of early readers of the WWW (there were few French language texts on the web at that time, and I had not seen any simultaneous presentation of the texts).

Thus I presented the separate language texts to the reader not to compare with another site that contained the same text (as the University of Virginia or other) but only to try to get feedback as to which format readers preferred. Unfortunately, in the years since posting these texts I have received too little reader reaction to report. However, I can state that some blind readers have said they were happy the text was not entirely graphic and thus inaccessible to them, and that the diacriticals did not interfere with their reading.

If your readers or students are able to comment on the utility of the pages for this objective in teaching (or learning) languages, I would greatly appreciate some reaction, especially about the relative value of the formats presented.

Your comparison of one French text with the others thus was not especially mindful of the concerns I had when I developed the site years ago for my readers. However, I have no doubt it is accurate in its reportage and congratulate you on its completion.

I do not intend to contribute more de Maupassant texts myself, but I will gladly link to your site, which seems to be a useful reference.

I understand you studied the French texts. However, there are a few other English translations placed online.

in addition, in English translation, at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new?id=MauStor&tag=public&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&part=0

Maupassant, Guy de. Short Stories of the Tragedy and Comedy of Life Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

and, also in English translation, there was, at http://www.ebooknet.com/e-library/bel-ami.txt the text of "Bel-Ami"; however this URL no longer works. I shall investigate to determine if anyone archived this text and let you know in case you are interested in having it accessible to readers of de Maupassant in English or "American."

Finally, if you will accept a Christmas present including a translated de Maupassant story about snow [= inn.html (RW)], please download http://www.eldritchpress.org/xmas.zip place it on a 1.4MB floppy, and give it to your English language reader friends this holiday season.

Thank you for reading. Merci!

"Eric" Eric Eldred Eldritch Press