[OPE-L] Index Translationum's Top 50 Most Translated Authors

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Wed Jan 11 2006 - 12:12:15 EST

Lenin made the list (#4), well ahead of Shakespeare (7) and the
New Testament (13)!  Marx and Engels also made the top 50 (30 &
36 respectively) which placed them ahead of Balzac (38), the 'Old
Testament' (40), E.A. Poe (44), and Plato (47).  Darwin and Mao Tse-Tung
didn't make the list but Danielle Steel (8) and Stephen King (10) were up
near the top. I'm not sure what this says, if anything, of significance
about what people around the world have been reading ....

In solidarity, Jerry

|  Index Translationum's Top 50 Most Translated Authors
|  http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=06/01/08/1713217

Strong Language
Harry Bingham, Financial Times, London

Back in the dark days of 1931, when the League of Nations was looking ever
less effectual and the US was plunging deep into economic depression, the
librarians of the world were bent on revolution.

Since the advent of the printing press, books have been translated at the
initiative of individual publishers and booksellers, with no central
record of such translations. To the orderly minds of the world's national
librarians, the system seemed little better than anarchic.

It bothered the archivists that the free market could simply call new
translations into being without any authoritative record of such things.
And so the League of Nations was pressured into setting up the first
systematic record of translations, the Index Translationum. In 1946,
Unesco took over the chore. In 1979, the system was computerised and a
true cumulative database began to take shape.

And though the original project might have been of interest mostly to
librarians, the results of their labours are of much wider appeal. Since
there is no systematic data on global book sales, the Index has come to be
the best available proxy. If you want to ask the question "Who are the
most popular authors in the world?" then the Index is the only way to get
an answer.
This story continues at:

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