The Maniac Collector's Inbox (166)
August 7, 2005
| The Russians Are Coming, the Russians
By Don Hobbs
No, I am not talking about the 1966 Cold War filming starring Carl Reiner, Eva Marie-Saint, and Alan Arkin. Although using my Six-Degrees of Sherlockian Separation I could link all three of these actors to some Sherlockian film. What I am talking about is the need for help, translating my Russian books so I can extract their bibliographic information. Are there any Russian speaking/ reading Sherlockians out there who might be willing to help me?
I have contacted the International Students Society at the University of Texas at Dallas and the local Russian Orthodox Church but so far I have not heard back from them. So in an effort to complete my task, I am appealing to the larger Sherlockian community. I am not totally in the dark when it comes to the Russian language. I have an edition that has all 56 short stories and 4 novels so I copied the Table of Contents and had it laminated. I have looked at this enough to be able to recognize the titles of The Adventure, The Memoirs, The Case Book, The Return, The Hound, A Study in Scarlet, etc. etc.
I have 34 Russian editions and of these, I have been able to figure out the book titles for 30 of them. I am stumped on all of the publishers and translator names. I have scanned all of the publishing information, table of contents, and title pages for all 34 books. They are in a PDF format. If anyone is willing to help me, I can send a few files at a time via email or I would gladly burn them on to a CD and mail it out.
Since all of my books are sequentially numbered, this project has been fairly easy to pull off. I created a folder for each language. Inside each folder are subfolders that are DW (De Waal) and NIDW (Not In De Waal). The contents of the DW are the cover scans of all of the foreign language editions I have in my collection. So if I look into my Catalan folder under the DW subfolder there are entries such as DW2407, DW2708, DW2409, etc. and under the subfolder NIDW I find W1918, W2004, etc. The "W" is the book's sequential number in my collection.
Where it gets more complicated is the languages that do not use a Roman alphabet such as Russian. Here I have added a second set of subfolders under the initial NIDW subfolder. When I look under my Russian folder and go to the NIDW subfolder, I created another layer of subfolders that include the heading for the individual books. If I open the Russian subfolder, NIDW, I find folders W4822, W4823, etc. These sub-subfolders are where I have scanned the PDF documents and other information that will be helpful to whomever would like to assist me in my crazy effort to produce a bibliography of the non-English translations of Sherlock Holmes.
Looking back at the 3 bibliographic works that Ron De Waal published and realizing he did these in a time before computers is really amazing. Simple tasks like placing all of the accented letters in languages such as Spanish or Portuguese has been made so much easier now with word processing programs. I find it hard to fathom his accomplishments. I am glad I am living in the age of computers and the Internet where I have plenty of resources at my fingertips. I tip my deerstalker to Ron.