Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Verkaufte Seelen.

The German edition of A Gentle Axe seems to have made it on to my German publisher's website. I didn't do German at school, so I have no idea how they have translated the title. Anyone care to help me out?

Interesting to see a totally different cover design. And it appears I'm Roger in Germany, not R.N.. This is all surprising to discover, but in a good way.


Anonymous said...

Hi Roger - apparently, it means 'Sold souls'! My spousal overunit goes on to claim that it's related to a German expression referring to a really dodgy ship that isn't going to make it to its destination without sinking - such ships were called Seelen Verkaeufer (meaning 'soul sellers').

I'm now intrigued. Does someone use the axe to hack a hole in a ship? Do tell!

Ian H

Roger Morris said...

Thanks Ian, that's interesting, a bit left field, but not totally irrelevant. No nautical episodes in the book, but there is a fair amount of stuff about souls. And of course 'souls' = serfs in tsarist Russia, as in 'Dead Souls'. Many many thanks.

Have you got an iPhone yet, by the way? Or is that a silly question?

Dr Ian Hocking said...

No problem. And no iPhone :-( Can't quite bring myself to spend the money...

Interesting to note the etymology of 'serf'. I'll put it in my research notebook!


Bernhard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernhard said...

Hi Roger,
Ian refers to the German word 'Seelenverkäufer' which literally means 'soulseller' - I would associate the title 'verkaufte Seelen' more with 'souls sold' to the devil; for the more literary mind it might even evoke Gogol's 'dead souls' - by the way I translated your novel into German but the decision on the title is the publisher's alone.
best wishes
Bernhard Robben

Roger Morris said...

Hi Bernhard, how nice to have you dropping in! I'm really thrilled that you stopped by to leave a comment. The book looks great, and I like the title. There is a relevance, I think.