Wednesday 27 July 2016

Villette and The Professor in Romania and Bulgaria


Romania’s first translation of Villette, by George Demetru-Pan, was published in 1940 by Capitol from Bukarest (276 pp.).  Demetru-Pan (1911-1972) also translated works from Arab and Spanish and he was a poet and a novelist. The title of his abridged version of Villette was Mascarada (Masquerade).

Cover of the 1940 Romanian Villette

A revised and improved version of Mascarada, edited by Luxa Stefan-Andreescu, was published in 1993 by Lucman from Bukarest, as Te-am dorit intr-o seara (Mascarada). That new title part is, in translation: ‘I wanted one evening.’ It still is an abridged version, with 335 pages only.

Cover of the 1993 Romanian Villette

In 2010 a second revised edition was published by Artpress from Timisoara, edited by Valerică Dinu. A picture of the cover couldn’t be found.

A full translation was published in 1975 by Eminescu from Bukarest. The translation (599 pp.) was done by Mihai C. Delescu, who also translated French works.

Cover of the 1975 Romanian Villette

The second edition of Delescu’s translation was published in two volumes (317 and 311 pp.) in 1993 by Elinor from Bukarest. It had illustrations by Adriana Ioniţă.

Covers of the 1993 Romanian Villette

The third translation, by Lucian Popa, was published in 2012, in two volumes again (416 and 368 pp.), by Adevarul from Bukarest. Popa also translated Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. This ediition appeared in the ‘Surorile Brontë’ series with most of the other novels of the sisters.

Covers of the 2012 Romanian Villette

The Professor
The first translation of The Professor, by Al. D. Grigorescu,  was published in 1993 by Artemis from Bukarest (238 pp.). Grigorescu also translated Trollope. The book, with in translation ‘The ladies’ pensionnat’ as title, had illustrations by Mihail Botor.

Cover of the 1993 Romanian
The Professor
(Painting: Frederic Leighton -
Portrait of May Sartorius
(c. 1860))

Artemis republished this translation in 2002 and 2009 (same number of pages). It’s not clear what the 2002 cover was but it is probably the same as the one of 2009.

Cover of the (first) 2009 Romanian
The Professor

The second translation, by Daniel Mihai Dunca, was first published in 2006 by Grupul Editorial Art from Bukarest, and republished in 2008 (both 287 pp.).

Cover of the 2006 and 2008 Romanian
The Professor
(Painting: Claude Monet -
Lunch on the grass (1865))

The year 2009 also saw the publication of the third translation, by Arina Avram, also entitled Professorul. It was published by ALLFA from Bukarest (336 pp.). It seems to be the only translation Avram did. Otherwise she wrote books herself, for instance about famous women.

Cover of the (second) 2009 Romanian
The Professor
(Painting: Teodor-Axentowicz -
Reading woman (1899))

The other Brontë novels
The first translation of Jane Eyre was published in 1891. Wuthering Heights was second, in 1937. The first translations of Shirley and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were published in 1974. The first Romanian Agnes Grey appeared in 1979.


The first and only Bulgarian translation of Villette, by Zheni Bozhilova, was first published in 1975 by Narodna Mladezh from Sofia (536 pp.). Bozhilova also translated works of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Arthur Conan Doyle, among many other novels.

Cover of the 1975 Bulgarian Villette

The second edition of her translation was published in 1989 by Otechestvo from Sofia (528 pp.).

Cover of the 1989 Bulgarian Villette

The third and last edition was published in 1992 by Koala from Sofia (528 pp.).

Cover of the 1992 Bulgarian Villette

The Professor
There has been one Bulgarian translation of The Professor, by Khristo Kŭnev . It was published in 1992 by Garant from Sofia (266 pp.), and reprinted in 1993. The title (in transcription: Uchitelyat) translates as just The Professor. Among a number of other works Kŭnev has also translated Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, as well as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass.

Cover of the 1992/93 Bulgarian
The Professor

The other Brontë novels
Jane Eyre was again the first to be published, in 1952. In 1957 she was followed by Wuthering Heights, in 1963 by Shirley. Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall saw its first Bulgarian translation appear in 1992, followed a year later by Agnes Grey.

Eric Ruijssenaars

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