Un Monde d’Azur

Un Monde d'Azur

My father, who occasionally makes appearances on this blog, is a devoted reader of Jack Vance — a prolific, stupendously talented, yet little known, science-fiction writer. He has acted on this passion in a variety of ways over the years, including volunteering (and working countless nights) as a senior editor for the Vance Integral Edition, a project whose mission was to reedit Vance’s entire work, in its complete and correct version.

Recently, he was asked to translate one of Vance’s novels, originally titled The Blue World, into French. What greater honor than to be asked to rewrite your favorite author’s words with your own?

And the book just came out! It is called Un Monde d’Azur, it is available at a bookstore near you (well, if you’re in France, that is) and of course it’s fabulous and you should buy a copy.

I myself purchased a couple so he could sign them for me and Maxence: I picked one up, leafed quickly through to the page where it says Roman traduit de l’américain par Patrick Dusoulier, and felt my heart burst with pride. I looked around for someone to share this with, I wanted to go and tell the salesguy (“C’est mon papa!“) but — ahem — I refrained and simply walked on a cloud to the register.

(And for those of you who are looking for a connection with this blog’s main topic, you will be pleased to know that there actually is one, since the story involves a deep sea monster with a rather large appetite. So there.)

Félicitations Papa!

Things Clotilde Loves

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  • Mazel Tov!

    My mom wrote a cookbook several years ago and I love going to a bookstore and seeing it on the shelves.

  • may

    hahahahh, i went back to read the CZ entry on “My Father’s Vinaigrette” and it made me smile! gosh i see the semblance… how wonderful! =c) hurray for your papa!

  • E.

    Yay! Congratulations, Clotilde’s papa! I will have to read a book by Mr. Vance as soon as possible. Is “The Blue World” a good one to start off with?

  • Congrats to your papa! As a longtime Vance fan, I’m happy to see his works getting translated.

  • Amanda

    I love Jack Vance! His series, The Demon Princes was just reissued recently in America. How awesome for your father to get to translate his works.

  • Mike V.

    Wait wait — they actually say “traduit de l’americain” instead of “de l’anglais”?


    I wonder, if Vance were a Canadian writer, what would they have used?

  • Alisa

    What do you mean “those of you who are looking for a connection with this blog’s main topic….”? There could be no Clotilde, without your papa. So THERE!

    Congratulations to both of you!

  • Congratulations to “our Papounet”! ;-) That’s very cool!

  • Ana

    Congratulations to Papounet from another sci-fi fan. Haven’t read Jack Vance, so I’ll take a look at his books.

    I followed the link to the Vinaigrette Recipe and laughed for the whole post. Now Clotilde, I know who you get it from.

  • Jay Francis

    If your father has never discovered the
    wonderful short stories of John Varley,
    he is in for a real treat. Varley is one of
    the great writers, although his latest
    beginning with Golden Globe are not very

    But if you can find any of his short stories

  • Angela

    oh my! that’s awesome!

    i was very touched by how proud you are.. esp the last line

  • adrian

    Cool, but “King Kragon”?

  • Your papounet

    It”s a blessing for a father to have two daughters such as mine… Oft have they moved me to tears with their affection, and Clotilde has struck once again…

    To answer E.”s question. The Blue World is a good novel. But you could start with something even better. Always tricky to choose, especially among Vance”s 50 novels and 70 short stories, the result of 50 years of writing… 4.2 million words ! But I”ll try, since my proselytizing fervor never flags :

    a/ If you want to start with a short story, read The Moon Moth. This remains a masterpiece of its kind, unequalled. It encapsulates several Vancean features (not ALL of them, by any means! No capsule large enough has yet been conceived by the engineering mind !)

    b/ Among novels, it depens what one is more attracted to.

    b.1 / Science Fiction (the soft kind, Jack doesn”t go for technology… He prefers sociology, anthropology, linguistics) : try Emphyrio (that”s the one Clotilde has been reading recently, and she loved it. Is that a good enough recommendation for you ?). It should do the trick.

    b.2/ Adventure (in SF settings) : I would recommend the Demon Princes series (5 volumes, the first one being the Star King). A story of revenge, “à la Dumas”. If this doesn”t get you addicted to Vance, nothing ever will ! Alternately, the Tschai series, 4 volumes, the first being The Chasch.

    b.3/ Fantasy (never the mighty-thewed barbarian kind with Vance !) :

    Picaresque adventures : The Eyes of the Overworld

    Historical fresco “à la Tolkien” : The Lyonesse trilogy (first volume : Suldrun”s Garden, or Lyonesse I )

    And I”ll mention, as alternate choices, in case you don”t find any of the titles above, The Languages of Pao, the Alastor Series (Trullion, Marune, Wyst), the Cadwal trilogy…

    and I”ll stop here…

    Jay Francis : I”m an early fan of John Varley, I”m with you 100% . The Golden Globe was poor… but the Gaean trilogy was great, and his collection “In the hall of Martian kings” is worth stealing…

    Adam Lipkin : Hail from a Vancean to another !

    adrian: why do you ask about “King Kragon” ? That”s “King Kragen”, translated (with utmost originality and inventiveness, I must say) into “le Roi Kragen” … If you”ve seen “Kragon” somewhere, it” a typo, I”m afraid ! There”s always at least one in any published text !

  • Your papounet

    Ooopsss… Posted too quickly. I meant to add :

    And thanks to all of you for your kind compliments and remarks ! I am sincerely overwhelmed …

  • Jennifer

    Now we know where you get your linguistic talents, Clotilde!

  • joan

    Clotilde, the next time you’re in that bookshop…tell the salesguy…those behind shopcounters don’t get to hear all that many stories of life…people buy the book and leave…had David been the salesguy I’m SURE he would have loved to know of the connection!

    Thanks so much for sharing this story of your Papa…an icing on the day…

  • robin

    How about The Dying Earth? I reread that every five years or so with great pleasure.

    (does your taste in Science fiction extend to other authors, papounet?)

    I will look for your translation when I am in France this summer.

    (Clotide, Vance often has very detailed descriptions of feasts)


  • Turhan’s Bey Company

    Hey, cool. I’m one of the fortunate few to be a VIE subscriber, so I’m benefiting from your father’s hard work. I’d argue that Vance is relevant to any food blog. Many have found that one if his oddly compelling talents is the description of fine foods. I found it particularly evident in the Dying Earth cycle, so foodies looking to try Vance might want to start with The Dying Earth or Eyes of the Overworld.

  • how cool is your papounet! A blog posting traducteur who, it seems, also raised you to enjoy good food. will be looking in the bookstore!

  • That is so cool. You sound very proud. He must have been so excited to be asked!

  • Someone knows if version also in Italian of the book will be previewed one? Thanks, Cow

  • E.

    Dear Clotilde’s papa,
    Thanks for the reading suggestions! The first two sound the most compelling. I’ll take a look. I’m not so fond of technology in my novels, so “Emphyrio” sounds perfect. And Clotilde’s enjoyment of it is a good enough reason for reading it. Thanks again!

  • Heron


    I put in a request at the library for a Jack Vance book. I always liked sci fi/fantasy.

    Oh and the seeds will be sent in a couple of weeks.


  • Traduit de l’americain???
    Goodness, this just perpetuates that American belief that ‘american’ is a language. Do non-americans actually also have this belief? It’s incredibly strange…

  • Tracy

    I didn’t know Americans believed “American” was a language . I’m American born and I’ve never heard that. We speak English and it’s always been referred as such. However I think it’s possible this was used to distinguish the translation from British English- but I may be wrong.

    Congratulations Clotildes’ Papa. I’m sure you did a fine job with the translation.

  • Tracy, yes you’re right, most Americans DON’T believe that ‘american’ is a language .. I didn’t mean to cause offense by saying that everyone believes that. BUT, i have heard it said, most frequently from Americans from the southern states. Every time someone asks “if we speak american in Canada” or how I manage to travel abroad “in countries that don’t speak american” I just have to roll my eyes. But hopefully we can assume that those people are the exception!

    Oh, and yeah – congratulations M Dusoulier!

  • Your papounet

    I can understand this reaction to “traduit de l’américain” … ;°) Let’s say this is just a choice of word to give the additional indication that the author IS from the USA (and Jack not only deos write in american, he writes in Californian, the Oakland variety, in several instances …). It doesn’t imply that it was written in a totally different language from what is commonly known as “english”. You’re all aware that there are many differences between British English and American English, not only in spelling, but in vocabulary itself, turns of phrases, metaphors, cultural allusions and references, ready-made expressions, and so on and so forth. This is not enough to qualify it as a different language, to be sure, not even a distinct dialect! This is just one of the many sub-varieties of the English language, British English being another one: English is categorized as a pluricentric language, with no definite “standard”. If one looked for a democratic way of defining such a standard, it would be the “North American” sub-variety, used by more than 70% of native english speakers. British English comes second, with 16% only…

  • Aarti

    i bumped onto ur site by mistake …as in ..my search for waffles still isnt complete, courtesy Clotilde!! It is indeed a pleasent mistake. Nice blog, great pics !! It is a pleasure reading your blog.Thanx for the treat.

    Aarti Batavia
    Nutritionist and Obesity Consultant.
    Mumbai, India.

  • rotangus

    I was going to post the obvious – intense thanks both to you (for this spot and the NPR column) and your father (for his contribution to the VIE); and to point out the link between food and Vance’s writings. But Turhan’s Bey beat me to it.

    Rotangus, (another VIE subscriber now waiting for instructions on how to cook Deedle)

  • Your papounet

    I’m really impressed… To find TWO VIE subscribers here? Not that Vanceans are averse to good food and good writing, of course not, to the contrary! But it’s just statistically impressive. We had about 650 subscribers across the world, so work out the probability for yourselves…
    Yes, impressed, and mightily pleased !

  • Jenji

    Felicitiations, M. Dusoulier—what a thrilling accomplishment! (Am just now catching up on my reading…) It must have been elating to work on the manuscript. Was it also a bit nerve-wracking? (I have such admiration for translators, having to decide on interpretations, shades of meaning, each individual word and yet the big picture of tone and style as well.) I hope you’ll be able to do another!

    That reminds me, didn’t you have another story for us up your sleeve, about cooking for your children while your wife was away…? :)

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