The Different Stages Of Love/Joy Day

Section of FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID omitted from English Language editions.

Previous 116 Next
Cadbury, The Beaver That Lacked   Chronology A Little Something For Us Tempunauts

(1975): FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID, French editions only, {tr.into French}
(1992 MAR): PKDSN #28

See COUNTER-CLOCK WORLD for a short extract.

PKDS 28    1


wpe20.jpg (2874 bytes) A preface to the second French edition of FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID (Editions Robert laffont, 1985) translated by Paul Williams.

    In 1974 or perhaps 1973, I made a mistake. {...} in that year, a new work by Philip K. Dick passed through my hands. It had a strange name: FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID. I decided not to take it for "Ailleurs et Demain" [the series M. Klein edited for Editions Laffont; the name means "Elsewhere and Tommorrow"] {...} My principle for "Ailleurs et Demain," to which I always held but which sometimes showed itself to be perilous, was not to publish everything an author produced, but only that which truly strick me, which seemed to me indispensable.

    Other editors undoubtedly displayed the same near-sightedness, because the book ended up in a series that was not perhaps the most prestigious of its era, Masque Science Fiction, where it appeared in the second third of 1975 under a title possibly enticing but certainly unexpected, LE PRISME DU NEANT [The Prism Of Nothingness]. I did not reread it, at least not right away, in that edition.

{... ...}

    Indeed, it was said in many places that the translation was not what it should have been. I reread the available American edition, I read the French translation, done by a translator usually faithful, in fact excellent, and a friend of long standing, Michel Deutsch; and I did notice some singularities, not to say anything worse, for which he was certainly not responsible. And I finished by being in a position to repair my error, to give the French reader, at last, a version of FLOW MY TEARS that was reasonably close to the original.

    And it was then that we entered into mystery.

    I say we entered into mystery, because i asked a young translator gifted with exceptional refinement, Isabelle Delord, to do an appraisal -- that is to say, a line by line comparison of the two texts, the American and the French. This careful examination made it apparant that the published translation, exceedingly honorable overall, contained no less than seventeen cuts in Chapter 12. These cuts were certainly not the doing of Michel Deutsch but were without the least doubt the work of an editor frightened by the description in the mutilated chapter of a homosexual episode, a description that stopped far short of anything pornographic. Science fiction is, to certain people, something reserved for children; from this they draw the conclusion that they must impose themselves on it, and sharpen the scissors of censorship.

    So far, nothing out of the normal, if I may say so. But what was much more surprising was that the French text also contained eight interpolations, that is to say, eight passages, often quite substantial, that were not in the text of the DAW Books edition which had served as our reference.

{... ...}

{note: Mr. Klein goes on to suggest that the original translator, Michel Deutsch, made his translation from a manuscript that differed from the published Doubleday (and DAW) editions. After much research, Philip K. Dick's literary executor, Paul Williams, discovered a 1970 draft of FLOW MY TEARS in the Fullerton Archives. It is not known if this is the same manuscript that went to France. It does contain, however, the material cut from the English language version of the published novel. The excerpt known as THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF LOVE -- which can be found in full in PKDS 28 -- begins less than one page into the published version of Chapter 11 of FLOW MY TEARS}

{note: For some comments by PKD on the French FLOW MY TEARS see: FLOW MY TEARS 2}


Return to