The Maniac Collector's Inbox (175)
October 9, 2005
Sherlocking In Romania (Sort of)
By Don Hobbs
For those out there who read this column on a regular basis, dont be alarmed and think I have flown off to some Eastern European country in order to find elusive translations. I have not. However I have been lucky enough to find a Sherlockian in Romania who has been willing to send me a bootle of titles recently published there. These are mainly new editions and ones that were not in my collection.
It all started innocently enough. When Brad and I started the Sherlock Everywhere group, Florin Leodor Danila signed on. He was aware of my interest in foreign language translations of the Canon. Through a steady stream of emails, he helped me with some bibliographic information regarding my Romanian editions. He kindly corrected some of the information I had and provided me with some much appreciated insight on the older editions in my collection. I will gladly give him the credit due when and if I ever get The Galactic Sherlock Holmes published.
The parcel of books arrived on my doorstep last week after several weeks of traveling across Eastern Europe and then the Atlantic Ocean. All it cost me was a copy of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes edited by Leslie Klinger. I had had Leslie sign a book plate for Florin a while back when I was in Los Angeles. I had ordered the set off of eBay and was disappointed when they arrived because instead of being the nice, boxed hard cover, they were the large formatted paperbacks. The post on these was over $40 and I cant imagine what the boxed set would have cost. Still I felt that somehow I had not upheld my portion of the deal. I am sure that Florin was expecting this lovely set of books when he sent me my parcel.
I have communicated my disappointment to Florin and have promised to send him Volume 3 of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes when it is published. I will see Leslie in Austin, Texas when he returns in November. So where does this leave me? Well, for one thing, I now have a plethora of new Romanian translations and hopefully a new continuing source for future editions. Another thing is I might have helped Leslie with his next publishing project. I had mentioned to Florin that Leslies next book was going to be an annotated Dracula. When I opened my parcel of books, there were 3 books on Vlad the Impaler, the real-life person on whom Dracula was based.
Good old Vlad seems to be one of Romanias best tourist draws because the books were all published in Bucharest and all included text in English. One was totally in English, one was in both English and Romanian, and the last was in English, French, Italian, German, and Romanian. I will give the 3 books to Leslie in hopes he can use some of the information or at least some of the pictures.
This brings to light one of the finest aspects of the Sherlockian community, the act of sharing. I think we all share the axiom of John Bennett Shaw If you have one of something, gloat; if you have more than one, share. Florin did not have to be so kind, but being a Sherlockian and knowing my love for foreign language editions, he shared copies from Romania with me. I mentioned Leslies next project, and Florin sent books to help with it as well and now I am sharing these personal events with the larger Sherlockian world.
I love being a Sherlockian just for these reasons.