Saturday, 26 September 2009

Voyage Towards the Earth's Centre

The problem I'm sure many English readers have noted about the title Voyage au centre de la Terre is that the protaognists get nowhere near the centre de la Terre. They travel in that general direction, but go no more than a few score miles down. But I wonder (a native French speaker could doubtless tell me): is this actually a problem with the standard English translation? "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" implies a journey that eventually arrives at the centre of the earth. Verne's title, of course, is not Voyage vers le centre de la Terre; but could it be that "à" in its directional sense of 'to' actually means 'towards'?

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