“Don’t be too upset with your unchivalrous publisher”

Åsa Warnqvist

 

“Don’t be too upset with your unchivalrous publisher”

Translator-Publisher Interactions in the Swedish Translations of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily Books

Abstract: This article explores the translation practices of the Swedish translations of Canadian writer L.M. Montgomery’s Anne and Emily books from a sociological perspective. By studying the interactions between the different agents involved in the making of the translations, in this case the translators and the publishers, the study adds to previous research on the Swedish translations conducted by Laura Leden and Cornelia Rémi. Through an extensive archival material from Montgomery’s first Swedish publishing house C.W.K. Gleerups, the study uncovers and discusses which norms the translators and publishers worked by, as well as the publishers’ role in the translation process and how the publishers’ profile and praxis affected the translations. The analysis demonstrates that the publishers’ were highly engaged in the translation processes and that their ideas and instructions played an important part in shaping the books’ content and making them part of the children’s canon in Sweden. For instance, it was the publisher and a publishing house board member – not the translator – who came up with the iconic book title Anne på Grönkulla (Anne of Green Gables). The publishers primarily steered the translators in matters that concerned the salability of the novels – the length and the titles of the books – but also on a more detailed level. This close cooperation points to the fact that it sometimes is relevant to refer to the publisher as a co-translator. In line with current research within the field of sociology of translation, the study thus concludes that the process of translating Montgomery’s Anne and Emily books into Swedish should be seen as a collective act.

Keywords: sociology of translation, translation studies, archives, L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, C.W.K. Gleerups publishing house, Agne Gleerup, Karin Jensen, Ingrid Schaar, Stina Hergin

Published: 27 December 2019

©2019 Åsa Warnqvist. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Citation: Barnboken – tidskrift för barnlitteraturforskning/Journal of Children’s Literature Research, Vol. 42, 2019 http://dx.doi.org/10.14811/clr.v42i0.449

 

It is a well-known fact within translation studies that a translator’s work is regulated and influenced by a number of social factors. For instance the publisher’s profile and praxis, and the prevailing societal norms of the target-culture may have a great impact on the translation. As Michaela Wolf has put it, any translation, “as both an enactment and a product, is embedded within social context” (1; cf. Toury).1

Translations are target-culture oriented and some literary categories and genres, especially those with a peripheral status in the literary system, have been and are still subject to more changes than others. Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, for instance, shows that Harlequin romance novels become localized through transediting, a process of both translating and editing where the line between translator and editor is fluid and where changes are made to the extent that Hemmungs Wirtén refers to these agents as “author[s]” (125–126). Zohar Shavit and others have also suggested that children’s literature to a higher extent than adult literature has been subject to manipulations in the translation process when introduced in a new socio-cultural context, such as an extensive use of omissions, due to its peripheral status (Shavit 112, cf. e.g. Lathey; Nikolajeva; Van Meerbergen 57).

As Cornelia Rémi and Laura Leden have shown, the original Swedish translations of Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s (1874–1942) two world-renowned series about Anne and Emily were subject to these kinds of changes when translated in the beginning and middle of the 20th century. For example, extensive omissions have been made of critical and unconventional thoughts and behavior, as well as references to religion and sexuality. To some extent educational or instructive content has also been added. A lot of the omissions and additions can be connected to gender ideology and issues concerned with the image of girlhood at the time (Leden, “Emily Byrd Starr”; Leden, “For Children Only”; Leden, “Girls’ Classics”; Leden, Klassiska flickböcker; Rémi, “Interactions”; Rémi, “From Green Gables”). Today, equivalence between source and target text is the norm within translation practices, and therefore making extensive changes in translations is widely criticized (Chesterman 208; cf. Leden, “Emily Byrd Starr”). In Montgomery’s case, no new Swedish translations have been made. Slightly modified versions of the original Swedish translations form the basis of contemporary editions of Montgomery’s novels, meaning that the changes once made are part of the versions Swedish readers still encounter today.

The aim of this article is to study the origin of the manipulations in the Swedish Anne and Emily translations, uncover and discuss which norms the translators and publishers worked by, and analyze the publishers’ role in the translation process as well as how the publishers’ profile and praxis affected the translations. The study’s primary contribution is within the field of sociology of translation and it derives from a sociological outlook on the translation practice, more specifically on the interactions between different agents involved in the making of a translation, in this case the translators and the publishers. In the material studied, the work of the publishers sometimes can be regarded not only as editing but also as co-translating, and the article focuses on the impact of this collaboration on the finished product. Through examining the co-production of the Montgomery translations between the translators and the publishers, I explore what Hélène Buzelin refers to as “the relative autonomy (or agency) of translators” (192). The article first presents an overview of the Swedish translations of Montgomery’s work and then moves on to analyses of the translation practices of the Anne and Emily books respectively before offering some conclusions on the co-translation process.

The primary material of the study is archival sources from the publishing house C.W.K. Gleerups, the first publisher of Montgomery’s Anne and Emily books in Sweden and the one who initiated the translations still in print today. The archival material is preserved in Gleerups’ publishing archive at Lund University Library, and it can answer questions about what choices and principles guided the translation processes and on whose initiative changes and omissions were carried out. A number of different archival sources have been used, from correspondence and board meeting minutes to order books and unsorted material. To fill some gaps I have also consulted material in other archives, primarily the printer’s archive (Berlingska Boktryckeri- & Stilgjuteriaktiebolaget’s archive at the Swedish National Archives), and some personal archives (Seved Ribbing’s posthumous papers and Britt G. Hallqvist’s archive, both at Lund University Library).

The combination of several different archival sources has been paramount in piecing together the story of the origin of the Montgomery translations. In many cases the combination of material from several different sources has been able to fill a void, but more often it has not. Archival theorists emphasize that the Archive is not a neutral space or a place that can offer the “truth.” As Andrea Wu has pointed out “[t]he archive and the materials it holds, contains, and sorts out may actually control, regulate, frame, or define and limit what one can know about the past.” Therefore it is ”necessary to read [against] the grain of the archive, so as to see what is hidden and what remains unsaid.” Seeing that the Gleerups’ publishing archive has many and profound gaps, particularly in the first half of the 20th century, my ambition throughout the article is to explain the conditions of the material and emphasize when the archive cannot answer the questions at hand.

I have previously published a couple of studies on the archival material related to the original publications of Montgomery’s books in Sweden (“Anne på Grönkulla”; “I experienced a light”). In these studies I have described the publication circumstances of the original publication of the first Anne book in 1909, but I have not previously discussed the correspondence on the translation to any greater extent. This article builds on this research and presents entirely new material on the translations of the Anne and Emily books never before made public. Since this material is of interest to the international research field I have chosen to write the article in English.2

The Swedish Translations of L.M. Montgomery’s Work: An Overview

While the book series about Anne consists of nine parts, the first part in the series, Anne of Green Gables, is the most well-known in Sweden as well as internationally. It was published in the United States in 1908 by L.C. Page & Co and has sold in more than 50 million copies worldwide (Gammel 13). Only a year after the original American publication, C.W.K. Gleerups published the book in Sweden with the title Anne på Grönkulla (“Anne of Green Hill”).

The Swedish translation of Anne of Green Gables is the first in a long line of translations made all over the world. It was assigned Karin Jensen (1886–1928), a well-known and reputable Swedish translator of books for adults as well as children. Jensen had a wide register and translated anything from novels, short stories, biographies, and technical literature within fields such as cultural history, criminology, and politics. She was hired by the largest and most influential Swedish publishing houses, translating everything from Elizabeth Gaskell and Anatole France, to Guy de Maupassant and Agatha Christie. However, she is first and foremost remembered for her children’s books translations, and particularly Montgomery’s Anne books, which where celebrated by critics and became some of the most well-known and influential translated works for young adults in twentieth-century Sweden (Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla” 213–215; Warnqvist, “Karin Jensen”).

The three subsequent parts of the book series – Anne of Avonlea (1909, Vår vän Anne, 1910), Anne of the Island (1915, Drömmens uppfyllelse, 1916), and Anne’s House of Dreams (1917, Drömslottet, 1918)3 – were all published in Sweden the year after they were first published in the United States, and also translated by Karin Jensen. Rainbow Valley (1919, Regnbågens dal, 1927) was published some years later, and was to be the last of the Anne books translated by Jensen. Instead, the last book in the Anne series, Rilla of Ingleside (1921, Lilla Marilla, 1928), was translated by A. G:son Söllberg (1896–1968), of which very little is known.4 Later C.W.K. Gleerups also published the stand-alone work Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910, Kilmeny, 1932), which was translated by the signature E. M. R., a signature which so far has proven impossible to lay bare.

The Anne books were a long-lasting commercial success (cf. Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla” 218), so much so that the publisher after a few decades invested in a gentle revision of the first Swedish translation, replacing, for instance, outdated words and conjugations of verbs (Rémi, “From Green Gables” 20). The assignment was given to renowned poet and translator Britt G. Hallqvist (1914–1997) and the revised version was published in 1955. It was part of a new interest in Montgomery’s works at Gleerups, which the publishing house was now called. Correspondence from the early 1950s shows that they planned a new investment in the author’s novels (Schaar, 6 November 1951; Page, 8 May 1953), which eventually resulted in the publication of three new Montgomery books, one new Anne book and the first two books in the trilogy about Emily.

The first of the three books was Anne of Windy Poplars (1936, Anne på egen hand, 1954). Presumably it was a tactical choice to start with the Anne book, since this protagonist was well-known in Sweden whereas Emily was not. The offer to translate this book as well as the first Emily book went to Britt G. Hallqvist, who turned both offers down, in the first case due to health reasons and in the second due to time constraints in relation to the novel’s complexity (Schaar, 10 December 1953, 9 January 1954; Hallqvist 21 January 1954, 19 January 1955). Instead all three translation assignments went to Stina Hergin (1911–2002), a professional translator of a wide range of childrens’s literature, from girls’ stories and mystery books to fairy tales, including authors such as Ruby Ferguson, Enid Blyton, and the Grimm brothers (Schaar, 28 December 1953, 20 May 1954; Mählqvist). Hergin was also the younger sister of world-renowned author Astrid Lindgren. Due to the length, the first two parts of Montgomery’s Emily series, Emily of New Moon (1923) and Emily Climbs (1925), were published in Swedish in three parts: Emily (1955), Emily och hennes vänner (1956), and Emily på egna vägar (1957).

The last book by Montgomery published by Gleerups was a collection of short stories, Chronicles of Avonlea (1912, Grönkullagrannar, 1968) translated by Birger Bjerre. He was not a professional translator, but the headmaster at a local school who assisted Gleerups in their publication of textbooks. Grönkullagrannar was the only novel that Bjerre translated. Apart from this he only translated a few non-fiction titles, all of which were textbooks.

Despite the fact that Chronicles of Avonlea is not a novel and that the protagonist of the Anne series, Anne Shirley, only features in a few of the short stories, it was marketed as a new contribution to the Anne series in Sweden.5 This shows that even 60 years after their original publication in Sweden, the Anne books still had enough commercial potential to make the publisher eager to add a new part to the series, despite it being a short story collection in which Anne hardly appears.

In 1971, the publisher Liber bought Gleerups and continued to publish both the Anne and Emily series. During the 1980s they expanded both book series by adding two books not previously published in Swedish: Anne of Ingleside (1939, Anne på Ingleside, 1985) translated by Verna Lindberg (1905–1994), and Emily’s Quest (1927, Emily gör sitt val, 1985) translated by Margareta Eklöf (1930–). In the mid-1980s, B. Wahlströms also published the novel Jane of Lantern Hill (1937) in two volumes – Jane Victoria (1984) and Jane Victoria kommer hem (1985) – translated by Solveig Rasmussen (1945–). Lindberg was a teacher and translator of children’s books who also read incoming children’s books manuscripts for the publishing house Bonniers. Among her translations are works by Erich Kästner and Hugh Lofting (Mählqvist and Lindberg). Eklöf and Rasmussen are both productive translators still active to this day, the former specializing in biographies and technical literature for adults, the latter in children’s literature, for instance the works of Eva Ibbotson and Cornelia Funke.

In total, 14 of Montgomery’s 22 novels and collections of short stories have been translated into Swedish, and since Liber a number of publishers have published the whole or parts of the Anne and Emily series in a variety of formats, printed as well as digital. It is no surprise that out of these works, Anne of Green Gables is the one that has been made available in the most editions, including an abridged easy-to-read version in 1976 adapted by Christina Birgander and Birgitta Hvidberg and as an audio book on cassette tape (1999) and CD (2007).

Anne of Green Gables is one of the few young adult classics that have been in print as good as continuously ever since its first publication in Swedish, and it is the only one of Montgomery’s works that is available in more than one Swedish translation. The novel has been re-translated twice. In 1941 the productive translator of children’s literature Aslög Davidson (1898–1966) translated it for B. Wahlströms, who published it under the title Anne på Gröntorpa in a mass market book series sold for a cheaper price (see Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla” 217–218). In 1962 author and translator Margareta Sjögren-Olsson (1919–1996) translated it for Lindblads (at the time owned by B. Wahlströms). In both cases the text was considerably abridged, and as opposed to Jensen’s translation, which despite all its changes and omissions was closer to the source text than these two translations, neither of them remain in print. The translation still in use for new editions is Jensen’s translation from 1909. It has been revised on three occasions. Apart from the work done by Hallqvist for the 1955 edition, renowned children’s book translator Christina Westman (1932–) revised it in 1991 and also in 2018, when it was published by Norstedts and Lind & Co respectively. Westman used Hallqvist’s adaptation and the 2018 was a lighter clean-up of the 1991 version. The 2018 edition is the latest Swedish one.

“I found it a little too voluminous:” Omissions and Target-Culture Oriented Manipulations in the Translations of the Anne books

Anthony Pym, who has studied the methods of translation history, points to the importance of taking the translators as the starting point, a “human rather than textual” (x) approach, which means investigating the existing records of the translators’ work and their employers, as well as the socio-cultural context surrounding their work. In this study, the material available to enable such an approach is, as mentioned, the remaining papers of the publishing house C.W.K. Gleerups, which calls for an initial reflection about the publishing house’s activities and the context they provide.

Out of the 14 Montgomery works published in Swedish, C.W.K. Gleerups published eleven, which gives them a unique position as the main publisher of Montgomery’s works in Sweden, not to mention the Swedish publisher to have published her works for the longest period of time. C.W.K. Gleerups was a big publishing house located in Lund, mainly known for its academic and theological publications with a strong connection to Lund University. They only published a limited number of fictional works, and during the early 1900s these mainly consisted of the 168 titles published in the book series “C.W.K. Gleerups ungdomsböcker” (C.W.K. Gleerups’ young adult books) between 1899 and 1968, which included all of Montgomery’s works. The young adult book series followed a format that caused the publisher to shorten quite a few of the works published in it. In his correspondence with Karin Jensen, publisher Agne Gleerup (1872–1910) several times mentioned that young adult novels written by writers from the English-speaking world were particularly problematic due to their volume. These included Montgomery’s works, which were sometimes shortened to quite a large extent. In some cases, as with Montgomery’s Emily series, books were also divided into several volumes (cf. Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla 213, 221; “I experienced a light” 232).

The publishing house thus exemplifies the tendency to subject children’s literature to a high degree of manipulation in the translation process. As the analysis below demonstrates, these circumstances strongly impacted the translation practices and the publisher’s involvement in the translation process. Of special importance in Montgomery’s case is also the fact that the publisher wished to adapt the books to a different target audience than the original American publications.

Zohar Shavit has studied how adult literature has entered the children’s canon during the translation process. This is what successively happened to Montgomery’s work and the process started with the Swedish translation of Anne of Green Gables. In the Anglo-American context, Montgomery’s books where originally read by a cross-generational audience. It was only when literary preferences of society changed during the first half of the twentieth century that the views on Montgomery’s work changed (McKenzie 128, 132; Rubio 3–4). In Montgomery’s early career, critics perceived her novels as works written for adults that could also be enjoyed by children, but in the 1920s this perception shifted to stories for children that could also be enjoyed by adults (Lefebvre 7–8; cf. Warnqvist, “Flickan som läsare” 30). In Sweden, however, the novel did not go through this shift. C.W.K. Gleerups identified the appeal for young readers from the beginning and made sure Anne of Green Gables was adapted by its translator so that it could be marketed towards a young target group (cf. Warnqvist, “Flickan som läsare” 31). The instructions from the publishing house thus played an important part in shaping the book and making it part of the children’s canon.

There are several theories about who introduced Anne of Green Gables in Sweden, but a letter from the publisher Agne Gleerup to the translator Karin Jensen shows that, as opposed to what has previously been assumed, it was not the translator’s brother Bengt Lidforss, a Professor of Botany from Lund University, who introduced his sister to the novel (cf. Åhmansson 14). Instead, the suggestion to translate and publish Montgomery’s debut novel came from Seved Ribbing (1845–1921), a Doctor of Medicine at Lund University and the headmaster of the university from 1904 to 1907 who also was on the board of the C.W.K. Gleerups publishing house (cf. Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla” 213–214). Gleerup mentioned the book “that Professor Ribbing brought to my attention” in the accompanying letter when he sent the book to Jensen (Gleerup, 26 June 1909).6 However, the primary decision to consider the novel for publication was likely made by Agne Gleerup himself as part of his daily routines at the publishing house.

According to a contract between L. C. Page & Co and C.W.K. Gleerup, the British edition of Anne of Green Gables was published by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. in London in January of 1909 (Contract). In March 1909, Agne Gleerup placed an order for a review copy of Anne of Green Gables to Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. and at the same time asked at what terms they would grant C.W.K. Gleerups the rights to translate the book into Swedish (Gleerup, 16 March 1909). Ordering books from publishers in London was a standard procedure for C.W.K. Gleerups, but asking for the terms for translation this early in the process was not common practice, which indicates some sort of prior knowledge or intuition, concerning the quality and appeal of this book. It is thus very likely that he ordered a review copy of this novel for consideration, gave it to Ribbing – who was particularly interested in English literature – and asked him to read it as a board member and on behalf of the publishing house. Neither the publishing house’s archive nor Ribbing’s personal archive provides any information as to how Gleerup or Ribbing learned of the book’s existence, but it likely came to their attention through book advertisements from Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., or perhaps a British review or a recommendation from a British aquaintance (cf. Warnqvist, “I experienced a light” 230).

Ribbing played an important part not only in recommending the book, but also in the execution of the translation. Letters show that the major omissions in the novel that Rémi has analysed (see “From Green Gables”) originate from a collaboration between Gleerup and Ribbing. When Jensen was sent the book for translation, Gleerup stated in the accompanying letter: “Since I found it a little too voluminous Professor Ribbing has suggested a few omissions that it appears could be made without difficulty” (Gleerup, 26 June 1909; cf. Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla” 214). Unfortunately there is no archival material left that recounts what kind of omissions Ribbing suggested, which makes it impossible to tell if Jensen followed the instructions or not. On the other hand, there is no outgoing correspondence to Jensen that suggests that she didn’t abide by them (there are copies kept of all outgoing correspondence in the archive, but almost no letters from Jensen to Gleerup are saved, and none that concern the work with Anne of Green Gables). Rémi has demonstrated that a lot of omissions were made, ranging from single paragraphs to several pages of text. They appear arbitrary, but are particularly frequent in the latter part of the novel, leaving a stronger focus on Anne as a child than as a young woman (Rémi, “Interactions” 167–168; “From Green Gables” 20). Since C.W.K. Gleerups wanted to publish the book in their young adult series and market it towards young readers, these are likely the kinds of omissions that Ribbing would have suggested, but no archival material is available to either support or dismiss this hypothesis. What the omissions do demonstrate, however, is that the target audience – young girls – and, by extension, the publishing house’s marketing strategies have governed the translation practices.

To some extent, Gleerup and Ribbing also took an interest in the book on a more detailed level. In his letters to Jensen, Gleerup discussed some issues of importance concerning the translation of the most important names in the novel. Names are examples of culture-specific elements in a text. They can be dealt with in translation either by domestication, which aims to comply with target culture norms, or foreignization, which strives to preserve the original foreign elements (Holland 334; cf. Nikolajeva). Rémi concludes that although translators of children’s literature in general tend to prefer the foreignizing strategy, Jensen’s translation of Anne of Green Gables reflects a little bit of both, resulting in an ambiguity that ”opens up the novel’s poetic space both for readers eager to explore exotic new worlds and for those looking for familiar surroundings” (6). The archival material demonstrates that one of the most important choices made concerning names – how to translate the name of Anne’s new home Green Gables – was actually not made by Jensen but by Gleerup and Ribbing.

The letters from Gleerup to Jensen show that Jensen has chosen to translate “Green Gables” as “Gröna stugan” (“the green cottage”). “Anne från Gröna stugan” (Anne from the green cottage) is also the name registered at the printer Berlingska boktryckeriet in their order book, which suggests that the original plan was to go with this title (Book orders). Somewhat later Gleerup mentioned to Jensen that Ribbing had suggested changing “Gröna stugan” to “Grönkulla” (literary meaning “green hill” but also the name of an orchid) and that he himself was in favour of this (Gleerup, 28 September 1909). From Gleerup’s next letter to Jensen we can conclude that she made a case for her title by referring to unwanted connotations that the name “Grönkulla” would invoke. She called attention to the likeness to ”Blåkulla” (“blue hill”), in Swedish folklore the name of a place associated with witches, but Gleerup offered counter-arguments and insisted on going with Ribbing’s suggestion. He ends his letter with “Don’t be too upset with your unchivalrous publisher” (Gleerup, 30 September 1909). The introducer and the publisher – not the translator – were thus responsible for the iconic book title Anne på Grönkulla, the first words that meet the readers and as such of great importance. Considering the fact that ”Anne på Grönkulla” has a better rythm, and a less profane and instead slightly more poetic ring to it than Jensen’s suggestion, it is not surprising that Gleerup fought for it at the risk of making his translator ”upset.”

In the same correspondence Gleerup also suggested changing the name of the protagonist from Anne to a “Swedish name more in harmony with Grönkulla” (Gleerup, 28 September 1909). This was not commented on in any further letters and the result shows that this suggestion did not come through. It is likely that Jensen in her reply pointed out that quite a few humourous and romantic details linked to Anne’s preoccupation with her name would be lost if her name was changed, but since no letter from Jensen is saved this remains a speculation.

Once the decision to publish the book had been made, Agne Gleerup was eager to have the book ready as soon as possible in order to take advantage of Christmas sales. “It would be nice if Mrs. Jensen could get to work with the translation as soon as possible, so we can release it well in advance of Christmas,” he wrote as he sent her the book – a wish that Jensen readily complied with. The book was sent to her in the end of June 1909 and she delivered the translation in several pieces (cf. Warnqvist, “Anne på Grönkulla 214). The archival material does not indicate when she sent the final manuscript, but in a letter to Jensen dated 11 October, Gleerup informed her that he has received the first proofs from her, which suggests that she must have finished it a few weeks prior to this. However, in early November Jensen is forced to re-translate some pages from the book, since the printing house has lost the pages 270 to 274 (Gleerup, 26 June 1909 [quoted], 9 October 1909, 11 October 1909, 12 October 1909, 30 October 1909, 2 November 1909). The entire translation process, including the re-translation of the extra pages and the proofreading, took approximately four months and the book was released in the middle of December.

Cornelia Rémi has noted a “disturbance” in Jensen’s translation process on pages 76 and 79, as she translated some of Anne’s romantic place names in one way the first time they occur and in another the following times they are mentioned (“From Green Gables” 6), but since these disturbances occur early in the manuscript they cannot be explained by the mishaps at the printers regarding pages 270 to 274. These page numbers most likely refer to the ones in the original American publication and since they occur quite late, it is most unlikely that the disturbance that Rémi has noted is connected to the lost pages and Jensen’s re-translation. There is no other mentioning of disturbances in the publisher’s correspondence, and since no letters from Jensen are kept we will probably never know the reason why she translated the names in different ways. One hypothesis is her tight schedule due to the Christmas sales deadline.

The correspondence from Gleerup to Jensen quoted here suggests a publisher that is engaged in the translation process and who steers the translator in matters that concern the salability of the novel: the length and title of the book. Although it is not possible to confirm, we can also assume that he is open to dialogue, since he suggested that the name of the protagonist be changed when in fact it was not. We learn of the publishing house’s preferences and principles for translation through his letters, but very little of the translator’s own since her letters have not been kept. There is but one single letter saved, due to misplacement, that reveals anything about her process, and it is a letter about her translation of Rainbow Valley, the fifth Anne novel. Jensen writes:

It won’t be long now before the second half of Rainbow Valley is on its way. I think it makes a most agreeable impression. I have omitted some of the discussions on Presbyterians and Methodists, they hardly belong in a book for youths, in my opinion, and besides we don’t know much about nor are we interested in these American sects. (Jensen, 29 September 1927)

This quote supports the findings by Rémi in that it reveals that Jensen took the liberty to make changes and omissions when she felt that societal norms or conditions rendered adjustments necessary in order for the novel to work for the young Swedish readers (Rémi, ”From Green Gables”). The quote also suggests that the religious traditions of Canada were not Jensen’s field of expertise.

When it comes to the next four Anne books, no information about the translation process can be deduced from archival material due to the fact that all in- and outgoing correspondence between 1911 and 1928 is missing in the Gleerups’ publishing archive. However, the archival situation is completely different a couple of decades later when the new interest in translating and publishing Montgomery’s books awoke. A lot of material is saved and the in- and outgoing correspondence is bound into alphabetically and chronologically arranged folders. This includes the correspondence between publisher Ingrid Schaar (1920–2004) and Stina Hergin on the three Montgomery books that Hergin translated.

When Schaar asked Hergin at the end of 1953 whether she was interested in translating a young adult book for the publishing house, Hergin shared information about her translation process upon reguest. She said that an assignment usually took her about one and a half to two months, that she only translated in the evenings and that she did not like to deliver “sloppy work” (Schaar, 28 December 1953; Hergin, 2 January 1954). In later letters Hergin added to her list of principles. When asking for the previous parts of the book series, she mentioned that she didn’t want to run the risk of adding “any novelties” (Hergin, 2 June 1954), and said that she “tend[s] to keep close to the author’s text” (Hergin, 19 August 1955). These principles indicate a professional approach to children’s literature and also shows that she considered consistency within the book series important.

It is evident from the correspondence that the publishing house had originally planned to give Hergin another title than Anne of Windy Poplars, but that this had already been assigned another translator (Schaar, 6 February 1954). It is therefore a pure coincidence – and even more so since Britt G. Hallqvist was first offered the assignment and turned it down due to health issues – that it was the sister of Astrid Lindgren, a great lover of Anne of Green Gables, who was commissioned to translate the latest Anne book. Lindgren several times referred to the Anne books as important reading experiences in her childhood that influenced her and her sisters’ games – and later her writing (cf. e.g. Rémi, “Interactions”; Warnqvist, “Under körsbärsträdet”). Hergin confirms the sisters’ strong bond to the books in a letter to Schaar: “There were no books that we read with more enthusiasm, or dramatized as often in our games” (Hergin, 29 June 1954).

Schaar was of the opinion that Anne of Windy Poplars didn’t “entirely live up to the first parts of the series, but we still find it agreeable enough to deserve to be translated.” When sending the book she also commented on the length of the novel and how to handle that in the translation process: “It is possible that it may be necessary to abridge it slightly, in that case it would probably be best to cut out some of the often rather independent episodes entirely. In the latter half of the book, in particular, not all episodes are equally indispensable.” However, Schaar asked Hergin to translate the entire book and mark the passages she thought could be omitted (Schaar, 25 May 1954). This shows the publishing house’s approach in terms of translation practices and the principle they wanted Hergin to keep to in the translation process. As in the case of Anne på Grönkulla, it was the publishing house that took the initiative to abridge the novel. It is worth noting that none of the requests to cut passages or parts out were expressively linked to issues of adapting the text to a certain age group, but indirectly this is the case, since the omissions were made to fit the length of the books in the young adult book series.

The translation was completed in early July and would have taken about three months in total. During this process Hergin suggested omissions of about 60 pages, of which the publisher could choose to cut whichever they wanted, since ”the book’s composition is extremely loose – if one can even call it a composition – one could without trouble insert the knife just about anywhere and cut out a pound of flesh.” Hergin was also open to other omissions and offered to tie any loose ends in the proof (Hergin, 2 June 1954). In line with the publishing house’s previous dealings with Montgomery’s books, this displays an attitude towards the source text that legitimizes major changes. Their view on children’s literature in translation has thus not changed over the decades.

The comments about the book’s structure being “extremely loose” and the cutting of “a pound of flesh” do not seem to be a critique of the novel, for unlike Schaar, Hergin found the book “very agreeable” (Hergin, 29 June 1954). Schaar also found Hergin’s translation “agreeable and natural” and considered her suggestions for omissions ”excellent,” which suggests that the publishing house did not make any additional ones. Once again, the omissions were thus instigated by the publisher, but carried out by the translator. Schaar also took an interest in the translation process on quite a detailed level, as shown by the correspondence following the proof sent to Hergin in early September. Schaar shared some changes that she wanted to make in terms of word choices and welcomed a dialogue about them (Schaar, 2 September 1954). Hergin’s reply is interesting:

As regards changes in the manuscript, I consider it an advantage for translators – not an intrusion – when publishing houses pay to have manuscripts checked. Four eyes see more than two, and even if one doesn’t like a certain change, at least it gives one a hint that the phrasing ought to be re-examined. In this case I have not been opposed to any of the changes, and I was very pleased with many of them. […] I am especially pleased with the school conditions in their present state. I was thinking along the same lines and discussed the matter with friends who have lived in America, but we didn’t come to any conclusion. (Hergin, 9 September 1954)

As the quote confirms, Hergin was anxious for the result to be as good as possible and therefore appreciated her publisher’s keen eye and co-operation. The fact that Hergin consulted friends on the culturally specific elements discussed in the letters indicates that she put time and effort into finding solutions that would make them work in a Swedish context.

All in all the matters discussed in the letters concerning the translation of this Anne book again reflect common issues put into play when children’s literature is translated: the need for abridgements and the need for adaptation of culturally specific content that occur in the source text. This tendency recurs during the process of translating the two Emily books.

“These two parts are too thick the way they are:” Redivisioning the Emily Books

The fact that Britt G. Hallqvist did not have time to accept a translation offer made Stina Hergin the Swedish introducer of Montgomery’s heroine Emily. Gleerups only published the first two Emily novels, and the explanation to that is found in a letter from Schaar when she sent the books to Hergin. Schaar simply stated that the first two books of the trilogy “are the best.” She informed Hergin that there is also a third part, “which, however, is not as good, and which we will put off for the time being” (Schaar, 9 March 1955). Most likely Schaar’s opinion of the book prevented it from being published at this point in time.

Again, the books were considered too voluminous for the young adult book series, and this time the size posed a bigger problem than with the previous books, causing Schaar to contemplate two possible solutions:

These two parts are too thick the way they are. They could either be cut up into three volumes, if it can be done in a natural way. A reader has suggested that a new part could begin with chapter 22 in Emily of New Moon. Where, then, would part three begin? (Of course the beginning of the first chapter in Emily Climbs would have to be revised in that case.) Or each part could be cut down to the “normal” Swedish girls’ book size. But I almost think it would be a shame to make too many omissions in these books.

I would be very grateful to hear which alternative you prefer and which you think would be the easiest to execute. (Schaar, 9 March 1955)

As the letter shows Schaar was no stranger to re-writing parts of the narrative to fit their suggested solutions to the volume issue, bringing Hergin’s role closer to that of a transeditor, as defined by Eva Hemmungs Wirtén (125–126). Of the two suggestions Hergin preferred the former: dividing the two books into three, rather than cutting large parts. In fact, she described the latter as impossible: “I believe it to be virtually impossible to trim each book down to the standard girls’ book format. […] In that case one would have to cut away at least half of each, and that would border on parody.” On the other hand, she was not entirely reluctant to omitting some content. On the contrary, she claimed that the books ”would benefit from a moderate amount of cutting down, because they are a little bit too wordy, and it would probably also be necessary in order to fit the format, even if the two books were to be divided into three” (Hergin, 20 March 1955). This demonstrates that not only Schaar but Hergin too abided by the, at the time, wide-spread opinion that the introduction of a foreign children’s book to the target culture justified large manipulations to the source text. In total Emily of New Moon and Emily Climbs were abridged by 13 and 16 percent respectively when translated into Swedish (Leden, Klassiska flickböcker 37).

Hergin also offered an alternative suggestion to the publishing house’s suggestion on where to end the first part, based on an analysis of the composition of the book:

Composition-wise it would be best to make chapter 20 the final chapter of the first book, where a sequence of events is concluded by Emily stating that she no longer feels like a stranger among the Murrays. Chapter 21 also makes a good opening chapter for the second book. On the other hand, for the young readers it would of course be more satisfying in terms of content if the book were to end with “the romance” in chapter 21, but that would also mean introducing Great-Aunt Nancy and leaving her hanging, and chapter 22 is definitely unsuitable as the opening chapter of the second book. (Hergin, 20 March 1955)

Taking the target readers – girls in the ages 10 to 15 years – into account, Hergin tried to find the best solution based on her assumptions on what would satisfy these readers. Her conclusion was that the most important storyline to offer closure to was “the romance,” a direction which the publisher followed. The first book ends after chapter 20, showing that the translator’s opinion weighed heavily in this matter.

Before Hergin started to translate the book she asked Schaar to call her so that they could discuss the ending and other matters, such as whether they should change the name of the protagonist or not. Hergin contemplated on the names in particular in her letter:

As for me, I actually like Emily, it brings Emily Brontë and Wuthering Heights to mind, but perhaps it sounds matronly to others. Should we have her switch names with aunt Elisabet? Elsbeth? Evelyn? Could the farm be called Nymånen [the new moon]? Folket på Nymånen [the people at the new moon] and Nymånsfolket [the people of the new moon] sound a little strange. Månevik [moon bay]? (Hergin, 20 March 1955)

In the margin of Hergin’s letter, Schaar made notes in pencil – possibly scribbles from the phone call – exploring variations on the spelling of Emily’s name (“Emily” and “Emilie”), suggestions for the title of the book (“Emily på Månevik,” “Emily drömmer,” and “Emily blir stor” – “Emily at Moon bay,” “Emily dreams,” and “Emily grows up”), and the name of the farm New Moon (“Månhem,” “Månkulla,” “Mångården,” and “Måntorpet” – “Moon home,” “Moon hill,” “Moon farm, “ and “Moon cottage”). In the end, Emily got to keep her Canadian name and spelling, the novel was simply called Emily, and the farm was named Månvik. Among the suggestions for farm names in Schaar’s pencil notes, “Månkulla” is noteworthy. The suffix would undoubtedly have tied the book series closer to the Anne books, which might have been attractive for commercial reasons, but in the end this suggestion was not chosen.

When it comes to choosing the names it is clear that Hergin aimed to comply with the target culture norms and domesticize the names (cf. Holland 334). Hergin wished to adapt quite a few of the Canadian place names into Swedish names. One example is the name of the village where Emily lives, “Blair Water,” which Hergin translated as “Blåsjön” (“blue lake”). Schaar, on the other hand, preferred the Canadian name and changed it back to Blair Water, thus promoting the foreignizing strategy to a greater extent than Hergin (Hergin, 19 August 1955; Schaar, 27 August 1955). Since the publisher had the final word, Emily’s world, just like Anne’s, becomes ambiguous; familiar and exotic at the same time (cf. Rémi, “From Green Gables” 6).

In late May, when Hergin had finished one third of the translation of the first book, she wrote to Schaar to inform her that she had been ill and consequently suffered a delay which made it impossible for her to deliver the manuscript on time (Hergin, 30 May 1955). She did her best to reduce the damage and completed the remaining two thirds in just three and a half weeks (Hergin, 9 June 1955, 23 June 1955). This suggests a major working capacity, but it also seems to have affected the result. In her next letter Schaar concludes:

As far as the translation itself is concerned, one does at times get the feeling that it has been produced under pressure, which, I suppose, also was the case. I have tried changing a few things that I wasn’t very happy with. For the most part, however, it is a nice and easy read. Perhaps some of the chapter titles could be improved. (Schaar, 10 August 1955)

The fact that Hergin, with her serious work ethic, had to complete the translation in a rush cannot have been satisfactory to her, particularly as this is rather a complex novel. Britt G. Hallqvist concludes in a letter to Schaar when she was contemplating taking the assignment that Emily of New Moon would not be very easy to translate, with all its wide-ranging nature descriptions and atmospheres (Hallqvist, 22 november 1954). As shown by Laura Leden, nature descriptions belong to the kind of content that has been omitted to a large extent (”Emily Byrd Starr”). However, this might not be due to lack of time on Hergin’s part, but rather the influence of the publisher. In the accompanying letter to the proof, Schaar mentions that she has made changes and omissions that Hergin probably would not have chosen to do herself, most of them because of her view on sentimental content:

Since the book was a little too extensive I have tried to make some deletions. As you can see the deletions have mainly affected the, at times almost unbearably tearful, introductory chapters – which I hope have benefited from the abridgement – and Emily’s letters. If during proofreading you could make further deletions in the sentimental passages that would of course be good. (Schaar, 10 August 1955)

One of the things Schaar changed is the name Månevik for New Moon. She changed it to Månvik since the “e” made it sound “too romantically languishing” (Schaar, 10 August 1955). The omissions made to clear the book from these sentimental parts were not sanctioned by Hergin, but she did agree that omissions were in order for other reasons:

[T]he style issue was a difficult problem to solve, because the old-fashioned setting somehow makes a more formal language seem natural. I also tend to keep close to the author’s text, which can become a weakness when I, as in this case, personally am of the opinion that the author every now and then tends to become too convoluted and intoxicated with adjectives, and that she sometimes tends to be too affected. But of course it is a charming book, and I don’t really mind the sentimentality either, since it is balanced by a rather feisty humour. (Hergin, 19 August 1955)

The note that she usually tried to keep the translation as close to the original as possible is interesting considering all the changes made, and may suggest that the publishing house is responsible for more changes than the letters indicate. Further analysis of the texts themselves would be necessary to deduce which changes might have been made by the translator and which might have been made by the publishing house, but even if the publisher clearly did a lot of work in this case and suggested many changes and omissions, some of it – for instance, the Swedish names as previously mentioned – also came from the translator’s hand.

As the correspondence between publisher and translator shows, the publisher was more involved than usual in revising the translation in this case, probably due to the fact that Hergin had to complete the translation in a hurry. Thanks to the rapid process, however, the novel was printed and expected from the book binder in the middle of November (Schaar, 10 November 1955), which probably means that the publishing house was able to follow their original publication plan. By tradition, they published a lot of the books in the book series in time for Christmas sales.

Stina Hergin continued to translate the rest of the two first Emily books straight away (Schaar, 10 November 1955; Hergin, 12 November 1955). In the letters she comments on omissions that she has made, but the way she retells her struggles with some aspects of the source text also indicate that she made major changes in the translation:

I have been in some serious battles with our dear Montgomery, because she can be frightfully rambling when she is in the mood for it. In particular, I have fought like a lion to try to bring Dean Priest somewhat closer down to earth, but I think it may be necessary to use a knife. Since it turns out the books will be a little bit on the voluminous side, please keep him in mind if you do decide to cut some parts out. But on the whole I find the books strangely refreshing and a little out-of-date. I have taken the liberty to sidestep a couple of poems, which were rather loosely embedded in the context and which exceeded my lyrical abilities. Beyond the rhymings of a ten or twelve-year-old I dare not follow. (Hergin, 12 November 1955)

Other than sidestepping poems, using a knife to ”bring Dean Priest somewhat closer down to earth” is the only specific instruction concerning further omissions that Hergin mentions in her letter. Since she made her notes on what she thought could be omitted directly in the manuscripts and since these are not kept, there is no way of knowing to what extent the publisher made independent judgements as to what should be omitted. However, as the earlier correspondence shows, they seem to have followed Hergin’s suggestions to a great extent.

There was apparently no rush in producing the translations for the second part, for it took more than nine months until correspondence on this resumed. In mid-August 1956 Hergin sent the proof, and in the accompanying letter she commented on the publisher’s omissions and some changes made to the ending without her consent:

I think the deletions have had a positive effect and those few, and small, dents they have created, I believe I have detected and smoothed out. However I do not entirely agree with the re-editing of the ending. I think the parting from Dean and Teddy’s whistling was a good closing scene, and then school begins in the next part. But no matter, as long as I get to keep one passage, which I have marked in the proof and which I need for the beginning of the third part. (Hergin, 21 August 1955)

This time the publisher did not abide to Hergin’s wishes, but instead chose to end the second part where they had decided: with the change of scenery that follows from Emily leaving school and her aunts in Shrewsbury to go back to Blair Water.

Probably as a result of the established co-operation between Schaar and Hergin, but also because some of the issues are resolved via telephone, the number of letters that discuss matters of technicalities and principles decrease in number for every Emily book published. When the third book was underway in late 1956 and early 1957, there is but one letter that comments on these issues: the accompanying letter to the manuscript submitted by Hergin in March 1957. In it Hergin refers to a previous telephone call when she concludes that a subplot that they had decided to omit cannot, in fact, be cut out since it reappears later in the text. Instead, she suggests that the publishing house cuts sentences here and there if the manuscript needs to be shortened further. She clarifies that she has made no such suggestions in the manuscript, leaving this work to the publisher (Hergin, 21 August 1955).7

All in all, the correspondence on the translations of the Emily books suggests a larger involvement of the publisher in the translation process than in previous Montgomery books. Due to the gaps in the archival material it is difficult to establish exactly how far this involvement went, but it is clear that decisions were made that went against the translator’s intentions and wishes and that the publisher had the final say in these matters.

Translator-Publisher Collaborations

Through the archival material preserved by the publisher the analysis above shows that the translator’s work to a large extent was regulated by the publisher’s profile and praxis, especially the fact that the publisher changed the target audience of Montgomery’s novels to young adults. This made the novels part of the children’s canon, which in turn made more extensive manipulations in the translation process possible. Major changes in the text, such as omissions, were legitimized by both translators and publishers, and culturally specific content such as place names were adapted in the target text by both agents to meet the assumed expectations of the new audience. Changes due to the societal norms of the target culture is not something frequently discussed in the letters, which is to be expected since some of it probably happened on more of an intuitive, and perhaps even unconscious, level. In Karin Jensen’s case, there is some proof that she made omissions and changes based on societal norms or conditions in order for the stories to work for the young Swedish readers. In Stina Hergin’s case, it is harder to verify who was responsible for these kinds of changes, but correpondence indicates that Ingrid Schaar took a more active part in the shaping of the novels’ content in this respect, especially in the case of the Emily books. Even if few examples of how this was handled are visible in the archival material, analyses by Rémi and Leden have shown that societal norms did have a great impact on the translations. They led to omissions, revisions and additions, such as purifications when it comes to religion and sexuality, and a more didactic emphasis related to the contemporary view of the upbringing of young girls (Leden, “Emily Byrd Starr; Leden, “For Children Only”; Leden, “Girls’ Classics”; Leden, Klassiska flickböcker; Rémi, “Interactions”; Rémi, “From Green Gables”).

Seeing that large parts of the material concerning the translations – such as letters and the manuscripts themselves – are missing, it is crucial to remember that the conclusions drawn here are based on fragments. The kept letters do, however, reveal that many of the most important decisions were made by the publishers and not the translators. In both the 1909 publication of Anne of Green Gables and the mid-1950s publication of Anne of Windy Poplars and the first two Emily books, the publishers were engaged in and actively took part in the translation processes, especially in matters that concerned salability, such as the length of the books, and the choice of titles and important names. Throughout the correspondence it was, for instance, the publishing house that took the initiative to abridge the novels, even though Schaar often asked Hergin to mark passages that could be omitted.

A pervading tendency in the material is that the publishers had the final word. They were open to suggestions and discussions, but in the end it is clear that they only abided by the suggestions made by the translators when they had been convinced that these were the right choices. Discussions between the publisher and the translator in matters such as choosing the Swedish title of Anne of Green Gables or deciding where to make the cut when dividing the two Emily books into three, ended the way the publishers wanted them to end.

To conclude, what truly springs from the fragmentary archival material is a story about close collaborations between translators and publishers, which are so close, especially when it comes to the work by Ingrid Schaar and Stina Hergin, that it seems relevant to refer to the publisher as a co-translator. The study of collaborations between different agents in the translation process and the question of the relative autonomy of translators have received more attention within the field of sociology of translation during the latest decades (cf. Buzelin 192–193; Pym). As research within the field starts to show, the process of translation should rather be seen as a collective act. By establishing that Montgomery’s Swedish translators cannot be described as autonomous, this study comes to the same conclusion. These close collaborations resulted in considerable changes in the texts, but also in target texts that found enthusiastic readers in their new country. As Rémi concludes in her study of the translation of Anne of Green Gables, the novel’s success in Sweden paradoxically builds on “decisions that have narrowed down its literary scope” (“From Green Gables” 1). Leden draws similar conclusions in her studies about the Emily books (cf. e.g. “Emily Byrd Starr”). That is to say: without the collective work of the translators and publishers, the long-lasting success and appeal of Anne and Emily in Sweden might never have happened.

 

Biographical note: Åsa Warnqvist is the Research Manager and Director of the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books and affiliated with Linneaus University. She received her Ph.D. in literature in 2007. Her research has primarily been focused on Canadian writer L.M. Montgomery, the Swedish children’s book market, gender studies, and normativity studies. She is the editor of Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research. She is also a member of the IRSCL executive board, organizer of the IRSCL Congress 2019, and vice-president of IRSCL. Warnqvist coordinated the international conference “L.M. Montgomery – Writer of the World” (Uppsala, Sweden) in 2009 together with Dr. Gabriella Åhmansson. During 2011–2013 she was the Visiting Scholar at the L.M. Montgomery Institute, UPEI.

Appendix of Original Quotes

p. 9, Gleerup, 26 June 1909: ”som Professor Ribbing gjorde mig uppmärksam på.”

p. 9, Gleerup, 26 June 1909: ”Då jag tyckte den var rätt stor har Prof. Ribbing gjort förslag till en del uteslutningar som tyckas utan svårighet kunna göras.”

p. 11, Gleerup, 30 September 1909: “Var nu ej alltför gramse på Er oridderlige förläggare.”

p. 11, Gleerup, 28 September 1909: ”ett svenskt namn som mer harmonierat med Grönkulla.”

p. 11, Gleerup, 26 June 1909: ”Det vore roligt om Fru Jensen kunde ta itu med översättningen snarast möjligt, så att vi kan få ut den i god tid till julen.”

p. 12, Jensen, 29 September 1927: “Nu dröjer det inte många dagar innan även den senare hälften av Regnbågsdalen kommer. Jag tycker den gör ett mycket trevligt intryck. En del resonemang om presbyterianer och metodister har jag tagit bort, de ha ju knappt att göra i en ungdomsbok, tycker jag, och förresten känna vi ju föga till coh (sic!) ha intet intresse för dessa amerikanska sekter.”

p. 13, Hergin, 2 January 1954: ”och dessutom absolut inte vill lämna ifrån mig hastverk.”

p. 13, Hergin, 2 June 1954: ”jag vill inte riskera att föra in några nymodigheter.”

p. 13, Hergin, 19 August 1955: ”Jag är också starkt benägen att hålla mig tätt uppefter författarens text.”

p. 13, Hergin, 29 June 1954: ”Det fanns inga böcker, som vi läste med större hänförelse och så ofta dramatiserade i våra lekar.”

p. 13, Schaar, 25 March 1954: ”inte helt mäta sig med de första delarna i serien, men vi tycker att den ändå är så pass trevlig att den kan vara förtjänt av att översättas.”

p. 13, Schaar, 25 March 1954: ”Det är möjligt att det blir nödvändigt att förkorta den något, i så fall väl lämpligast genom att någon av de ju ofta ganska fristående episoderna stryks helt. Särskilt i senare hälvten (sic!) av boken är ju alla inte lika omistliga.”

p.14, Hergin, 2 June 1954: ”Nu är ju boken ytterligt lös i kompositionen – om man över huvud taget kan tala om komposition – så man kan obesvärat sticka in kniven ungefär var som helst och skära ut ett pund kött.”

p. 14, Hergin, 29 June 1954: ”boken är mycket trevlig.”

p. 14, Schaar, 2 September 1954: ”som jag tycker är trevlig och ledig.”

p. 14, Schaar, 2 September 1954: ”Tack också för förslagen till strykningar som var utmärkta!”

p. 14, Hergin, 9 September 1954: ”Beträffande ändringar i manus betraktar jag det som en förmån för översättarna – inte som något intrång – när förlagen kostar på manusläsning. Fyra ögon ser mer än två, och även om man ogillar en ändring, får man en vink om att formuleringen bör tas under omprövning. I det här fallet har ingen ändring väckt något motstånd hos mig, och många har gjort mig högst belåten. […] Skolförhållandena är jag särskilt nöjd med i nuvarande skick. Jag var inne på samma tankegång som Ni och diskuterade saken med vänner som bott länge i Amerika, men vi kom inte till någon klarhet.”

p. 15, Schaar, 9 March 1955: ”De två första delarna, som skickas samtidigt härmed som korsband, är bäst. Det finns en tredje del också som dock är mindre bra och som vi väntar med tills vidare.”

p. 15–16, Schaar, 9 March 1955: ”De här två delarna är ju för tjocka som de är. Man skulle alltså endera kunna stycka upp dem i tre volymer, om det går på ett naturligt sätt. En läsare har föreslagit att man skulle kunna börja en ny del vid kap. 22 i Emily of New Moon. Var skulle i så fall del tre börja? (Början på första kapitlet i Emily Climbs fick man förstås ändra en del på i så fall.) Eller också skulle man kunna stryka ner båda delarna till mera ”normalt” svenskt flickboksomfång. Fast jag tycker nästan att det vore synd att stryka för mycket i de här böckerna.

Jag vore mycket tacksam att få höra vilken utväg Ni tycker vore bäst och lättast att genomföra.”

p. 16, Hergin, 20 March 1955: ”Att banta ner varje bok till normalt flickboksformat anser jag så gott som ogörligt. […] man finge nog i så fall skära bort minst hälften, och då börjar det stöta på parodi.”

p. 16, Hergin, 20 March 1955: “Å andra sidan tycker jag faktiskt, att en måttlig beskärning skulle vara enbart till fördel, för de är i ordrikaste laget, och det skulle nog behövas också för formatets skull, även om de två böckerna delas upp i tre.”

p. 16, Hergin, 20 March 1955: ”Kompositionsmässigt lämpar det sig bäst att låta kap. 20 bli avslutningskapitel i första boken, där avrundas ett händelseförlopp med att Emily konstaterar, att hon inte längre känner sig som en främling bland the Murrays. Kap. 21 lämpar sig också bra som öppningskapitel i bok nummer två. Å andra sidan blir det förstås innehållsligt mer tillfredsställande för de unga läsarna, om boken slutar med ”romancen” i kap. 21, men där kommer Great-Aunt Nancy in och blir totalt hängande i luften, och kap. 22 är absolut olämpligt som öppningskapitel i andra boken.”

p. 17, Hergin, 20 March 1955: ”För min del tycker jag faktiskt om Emily, det påminner om Emily Brontë och Svindlande höjder, men i andras ögon låter det kanske tantigt. Ska vi låta henne byta namn med moster Elisabet? Elsbeth? Evelyn? Kan man låta gården heta Nymånen? Folket på Nymånen och Nymånsfolket låter lite underligt. Månevik?”

p. 18, Schaar, 10 August 1955: “Vad själva översättningen beträffar, så har man nog ibland en känsla av att den skett under press, vilket väl också var fallet. Jag har försökt ändra på en del saker som jag inte tyckte vad så lyckade. För det mesta är det dock lätt och trevligt att läsa. Kanske kunde kapitelrubrikerna vara bättre ibland.”

p. 18, Schaar, 10 August 1955: ”Boken var ju i största laget och jag har försökt stryka ner den en del. Strykningarna har som synes framför allt gått ur dels över de ibland nästan outhärdligt gråtmilda inledningskapitlen – som jag hoppas har vunnit på förkortningen – dels över Emilys brev. Kan Ni vid korrekturläsningen stryka ytterligare i de sentimentala partierna, är det naturligtvis bra.”

p. 18, Schaar, 10 August 1955: “E-et kom det att låta alltför romantiskt smäktande.”

p. 19, Hergin, 19 August 1955: ”stilproblemet var svårlöst, därför att den ålderdomliga miljön gör ett mindre vardagligt språk naturligt på något vis. Jag är också starkt benägen att hålla mig tätt uppefter författarens text, vilket kan bli till en svaghet, när jag som i det här fallet tycker själv, att författaren då och då blir för tillkrånglad och adjektivberusad och går upp i för högt tonläge ibland. Men nog är boken tjusig, och jag tycker inte att det är så farligt med sentimentaliteten heller, eftersom den balanseras av en rätt kryddstark humor.”

p. 19–20, Hergin, 12 November 1955: ”Jag har haft en del rätt hårda duster med den goda Montgomery, för det är hiskeligt, vad hon kan svamla, när hon sätter den sidan till. Särskilt har jag kämpat som ett lejon för att får ner Dean Priest någorlunda på jorden, men jag undrar, om man inte måste ta till kniven. Nu har det ju visat sig, att böckerna blir i största laget, så var snäll och ha honom i åtanke, om Ni ska skära ner. Men i stort sett tycker jag, att böcker är förunderligt friska och lite föråldrade. På eget bevåg har jag gått udenom ett par dikter, som var rätt löst infogade i sammanhanget och som översteg min lyriska förmåga. Längre än till en tio-tolv-årings rimmerier törs jag inte följa med.”

p. 20, Hergin, 21 August 1956: ”Nedstrykningarna tycker jag har inverkat fördelaktigt och de få och små hack, som har uppstått, tror jag nog att jag har upptäckt och jämnat ut. Däremot är jag inte riktigt överens med omredigeringen av slutet. Jag tycker avskedet från Dean och Teddys vissling var en avrundad och bra slutvinjett, och sedan får skolan börja i nästa del. Men hur som helst med det, bara jag får tillbaka en bit, som jag har markerat i korrekturet och som jag behöver till tredje delens upptakt.”

p. 37, Gleerup, 28 September 1909: ”Förslaget var Professor Ribbings, bokens upptäcksman.”

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---. Letter to Walter Ekstrand. 20 July 1967. Vol. 317: 1967: Bj–Bö. Serie E: Korrespondens (Series E: Correspondence). Lund University Library, Manuscript Section, Gleerupska förlagsarkivet (Gleerups’ publishing archive).

Book orders. 1908–1914, D3A:8. Berlingska Boktryckeri- & Stilgjuteriaktiebolagets arkiv (Berlingska Boktryckeri- & Stilgjuteriaktiebolaget’s archive), Riksarkivet (Swedish National Archives).

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Contract for the Swedish edition of Anne of Green Gables between L.C. Page & Company and C.W.K. Gleerups, signed 9 Ocotober 1909. Unsorted papers. Lund University Library, Manuscript Section, Gleerupska förlagsarkivet (Gleerups’ publishing archive).

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---. Letter to Ingrid Schaar. 23 June 1955. Vol. 149: 1955: H–J. Serie E: Korrespondens (Series E: Correspondence). Lund University Library, Manuscript Section, Gleerupska förlagsarkivet (Gleerups’ publishing archive).

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Notes

1 I would like to thank Maria Jönsson, Umeå University, in her capacity of editor for this article, as well as the blind peer reviewers. I would also like to thank Hanna Liljeqvist, who has made all the translations of Swedish quotes from the archival material.

2 Quotes from letters sent to and from Ingrid Schaar and Stina Hergin are published with permission from their closest relatives, Anna Svenson and Gunvor Runström, respectively.

3 English translations of all Swedish titles are available in the Works Cited.

4 Apart from translating Rilla of Ingleside, Söllberg made two re-translations of Rudyard Kipling’s The Djungle Book and The Second Djungle Book in 1927 and 1929, which indicates he had a rather short career as a translator.

5 The actual ninth and last part of the book series, The Blythes are Quoted, has not been translated into Swedish. It was published in a considerably abridged version in 1974 with the title The Road to Yesterday and was not published in its entirety until 2009.

6 Gleerup also referred to Ribbing as “the discoverer of the book” in another letter to Jensen (Gleerup, 28 September 1909). All Swedish quotes from the archival material are available in the appendix.

7 This letter also reveals that Gleerups at the time was considering publishing the last of the available Anne books still not published in Swedish, Anne of Ingleside, and that Hergin was the intended translator (Hergin, 21 August 1955). For reasons unknown, the book never came out in the 1950s. Instead, it was one of the additional Montgomery books translated in the mid-1980s. One final Montgomery book was published by Gleerups before Liber purchased the publishing house: Chronicles of Avonlea, translated by Birger Bjerre. The only correspondence available that comments on this enterprise is two letters from mid-July of 1967, when Bjerre sent the final 50 pages of the manuscript to the publishing house. In the accompanying letter Bjerre discussed the title of the book. He suggested “Anne griper in: Berättelser från Avonlea” (“Anne comes to the rescue: tales from Avonlea”), which was later changed, supposedly by Ingrid Schaar. The final title of the book is Grönkullagrannar: Berättelser från Avonlea (Green Gables neighbours: tales from Avonlea, Bjerre, 14 July 1967, 20 July 1967), demonstrating that once more the publisher made the final decision on the book title.

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