Google+ Riddick's Realm: Wanna hate an Elf?

28 apríla 2009

Wanna hate an Elf?

Did it cross your mind at least once the elvish folk of our fantasy popculture is too fair, noble and pure to be hated?
You're almost sick of all that sweet Legolases, romantic Arwens and wise Elronds?
Now I'll give you one Elf to hate...

When I picked Susanna Clarke's novel to read, I had no idea what masterpiece it would be. Almost immediately after slow opening I began to enjoy every word of fantastic czech translation of even more fantastic story.
I'm nearly finishing the novel, so please - no spoilers! (violators will learn the power of the dark side!) Naturally, I can't be sure if the conclusion will be equally satisfying as the novel itself, but I can do nothing less than recommend it to every fantasy or magic positive reader.

The story is about rebirth of magic in the British Empire in early 19th century and its two leading figures, Mr. Gilbert Norrell and young Mr. Jonathan Strange. Practical magic was once quite common in the country, but then forgotten. After centuries of strictly theoretical approach the ressurection of magic has begun...

But about that Elf. His name is Gentleman with thistledown hair and in this book you meet utterly different Elves you're used to. They're dark, moody and pretty unstable. This gentleman is such solipsistic megalomaniac, it isn't healthy. There are couple of warnings about the Elves in the book, but only when you start to know this particular man, you also start to fear him. It is much worse, when this kind of person has the unlimited magical powers on his hand...

Of course there is much more waiting for a keen reader in this book. Suggestive atmosphere, fascinating characters, courage and love, but also peril, insincerity, despair and lots and lots of magic!

So, wanna hate an Elf?
Go for it.
Gentleman with thistledown hair is ready for you.

Sorry, my mistake. As I have been notified by friend, the Gentleman with thistledown hair is not originally an Elf. He is from the Faerie kingdom.
But (surely for understandable reasons) czech translator Viktor Janiš considered best to present his nationality under name of another well known magical folk, the Elves.
So be it.
It is perhaps better solution than use czech name for fairy ("víla" both in czech and in slovak), which exists only in feminine... and slightly better than slovak translation "féer" which is truer to the original, but harder to pronounce and a bit odd to accept (now when I'm used to czech translation).
In the end, case of Gentleman's nationality is merely an unimportant detail compared to the rest of this remarkable novel :-)

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