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Archive for October, 2011

Steven T. Byington, "On Interference with the Environment"

Now available thanks to Shawn P. Wilbur at From the Libertarian Library:




I WANT to start a discussion which may be of some length, especially if I get replies from those who disagree with me, as I hope I may, and I think it will pay if first I lay down, like Euclid, a few of the axioms and postulates with which I begin.

I observe that men universally hold that certain types of action are to be approved and certain others are to be disapproved. They differ as to what actions should be put in either class: Herodotus noted this in the case of the nation where it was a disgrace to eat one's father, and the other nation where it was a disgrace not to eat one's father. They differ as to what names should be used for the classes: most people say right and wrong or good and bad, but some object most strenuously to these terms and prefer to say high and low, noble and base, fine and sordid, and I know not what. But everybody has some name for some sorts of actions that he thinks well of, and another name for those of which he thinks ill. The question whether it is well to speak of "right" or "wrong" is a very dry dispute about words; but the question whether a given action belongs in the black class or in the white class is a question of intense interest wherever there is a difference of opinion about it. Look at any book that has been written to prove that there is no such thing as moral good or evil, and see with what a relish the author will stigmatise the moralist's attitude by the names of such vices as he recognises ...

Read the whole thing at From the Libertarian Library.

Tucker on "fake" translations

Now available thanks to Shawn P. Wilbur at Contr'un:

Here's a bit of fun from the 1891 volume of The Bookseller and Newsman, where Benjamin R. Tucker got very actively involved in the debate about translations of Emile Zola's "Money." It's classic Tucker.

The American Edition of “Money.”


The editorial notice of The Nile Publishing Company’s edition of “Money,” by Emile Zola, in the March Newsman, was the cause of much comment in trade circles. The following correspondence from the publishers of this book will interest The Newsman readers and throw much light on the matter of translating and publishing foreign works:

The Nile Publishing Company.
Chicago, March 26, 1891.
Editor The Newsman —We are in receipt of your last issue of the Newsman, and note what you say regarding our edition of “Money.” In reply we only say we seriously regret that you should accept such a statement as true from a competing publisher and publish it before at least allowing us to make a true statement concerning our translation.
It is true that we placed “Money” on the market on the 11th of March, but we were not enabled to complete it on that date by “drawing from the scant imagination fund of our translator.” We were enabled to do so by the expenditure of several hundred dollars in having the last fifteen pages cabled to us. We acknowledge that the last few pages were not literally translated, but Zola’s sentiments were expressed.
Do you not know that not one of Zola’s novels that have been published in the United States is complete? Publishers in this country are compelled to expurgate them, for our people will not tolerate his superlative degree of realism. Then why should we be so unjustly treated when we have ...

Read the whole thing at Contr'un.