Readable public domain books translated to English
March 17, 2011 7:44 PM Subscribe
Can you recommend any books in translation I might want to read that are public domain?
posted by calico to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've recently been given a Kindle and am smitten by it, and particularly love the access it has given me to older books in the public domain.
But so far I've stuck to books written originally in English. I find that sometimes you'll read a book in translation and never give a moment's thought to the fact that the book wasn't originally written in English, but sometimes the translation seems to get between you and the book. Generally I seem to prefer more recent translations, but that poses a problem with my aim to get as much out of Project Gutenberg and similar as I possibly can.
The question is more about the readability of the translation than either the quality of the translated work or the accuracy of the translation. I'll take it on trust long enough to read it that Kurt Hamsun's Hunger is as good as people say it is, and I'm in no position to judge any translation's strength against 99.99% of other languages. So, have you read any free books in translation and enjoyed them as a read?