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Self, 2005
I was born in Los Angeles, California, two month before Pearl Harbor 1. My childhood was enriched when the pleasure of reading books was discovered at the Public Library. As a teenager books continued to be good companions, until my book reading friends at school enthusiastically suggested Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings. That was a turning point indeed, but I desired more like it. I tried several fantansy authors, but they fell far short in my eyes. Then a friend suggest the The Chronicles of Narnia. "Hmm, tell me more, what are they like?"  I  was  taken  aback  to  learn they were children's books.   My

Lewis' Letter
teenage  pride  finally  overcome,   I  humbly  walked  into  the Children's Section of the Public Library,  opening myself to taunts of derision.   I  read  the books at home, and enjoyed each one, taking care to follow the advice to read the six others before the The Last Battle. The conclusion was like a thunderbolt. It was then I finally sensed there was a reality beyond the senses. I went on to read The Ransom, or Deep Space, Trilogy. I decided to write Lewis and thanked him for his books. In June 1959 just days after my High School graduation, I was elated to receive a letter from C.S. Lewis himself. He gave sound advice to carefully read more books and a humorous conclusion that went over my head at the time. The letter is one of my most valued possessions.

Self, as Elrond with
Elf Maiden, 1968
My reading and collecting of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and later Charles Williams continued through my college years until 1967. It was that year when my Collection won First Prize in the Student Library Competition at California State University at Los Angeles (even though the collection was less than 3% of what it is now). This, along with the new public interest in Tolkien, moved me to found The Mythopoeic Society 2 in October of the same year. Besides the monthly book discussions, and semi-annual costumed picnics in the Spring and Autumn, I organized a one day Narnia Conference in 1969, and published the subsequent Narnia Conference Proceedings 3.

Self, 1971
The following year, 1970, the first Mythopoeic Conference was organized, and has continued each year to date. The conferences last three to four days, and include papers, panels, art show, banquet, and opening and closing ceremonies. It is difficult to describe all the activities, both scheduled and unscheduled, the Guests of Honor, the mix of people, the discussions formal and informal, the costumes and Pageantry. So much has happened and accomplished at these annual events. A complete list of all the Conferences is available online 4. The photo here shows myself presenting The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award at the second Conference in 1971.
1970 also saw the birth of Mythlore: a Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and the Genres of Myth and Fantasy Studies. I was the Editor of about 78 of the first 84 issues through 1998 5. What a kaleidoscope of exceptional articles, reviews, letters and artwork those issues featured!

Self, c. 1985
My interest in collecting both Lewis and Tolkien at the beginning was limited to English language editions, but in the process of collecting I came across translations as well. My serious interest in translations came in 1975, when I journeyed to England, Wales, Ireland and Belgium. The primarily purpose was to visit people and places known to Tolkien, Lewis and Williams. The six week stay had many highlights, including:
  • being a guest at Poulton-Lancelyn, the 900 year old ancestral home of Roger Lancelyn Green (good friend and biographer of Lewis 6)
  • visiting Owen Barfield (life-long friend of Lewis) at his home in Surrey
  • meeting with Walter Hooper in Oxford (who was the Secretary to the Lewis Literary Estate)
  • meeting Christopher Tolkien (who took on the huge task of being Executor of his father's Literary Estate) and his charming wife Baillie, shortly before they moved to France
  • meeting Humphrey Carpenter as he was doing research for the Tolkien biography at Christopher's home
  • attending The Friends of Lewis party held at Magdalen College, Oxford, July 4, 1975. Present were the Host, Fr. Walter Hooper, Owen Barfield, Nevil Coghill, Colin Hardie, A.C. Harwood, Fr. Gervase Mathew, Clyde Kilby, Fr. John Tolkien, and his sister, Priscilla among a total number of about 25 people
  • having a unique and memorable 4th of July, by receiving signatures of Tolkien's three surviving children on that day in 1975. A copy of the one-volume The Lord of The Rings, printed on India paper, was first signed by Christopher Tolkien earlier that day at his home, and John and Priscilla added their names at the reception
  • the fabled and awesome Cambridge and Oxford Universities
  • doing research at the Bodleian Library
  • visiting the resting places of Tolkien, Lewis and Williams, and seeing many, many other people and places

Pauline Baynes
The visits to the homes of Pauline Baynes (the premier Narnia illustrator) and Priscilla (Tolkien's only daughter) were both very pleasant. They were both very gracious, and the fond memories have not faded even after 30 years. During my visit with Priscilla, I was happily surprised to learn she was selling books for charitable purposes at the then equivalent current book stores prices. The books had belonged to her father, who had passed on almost two years earlier. About half of these were first edition translations of Tolkien in various languages. Realizing this was indeed a unique opportunity,  I returned the next day with two large empty suitcases,  and  after  much  good

Priscilla, Oxford 1992
talk, left later with all I could take away.  These books included:  Afrikaans,  Danish,  Dutch, Finnish,  French,  German,  Japanese,  Italian,  Norwegian,  Polish,  Spanish  and Swedish.  Since  then,  I continued to collect Tolkien, including translations, so that now half of the entire Tolkien collection is comprised of foreign editions. As time when on, I collected more and more of Lewis translations, especially Narnia books, feeling they had a charm and exotic mystery to them, as well as in some cases having totally different artwork. In the days before the internet, collecting was basically checking bookstores in every city I visited, from book dealers' catalogs, or at auctions held at the Mythopoeic Conferences.

Owen Barfield, 1992
In 1992 I returned to England for the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference held at Keble College, Oxford, and subsequently was the Co-Editor of the Proceedings of the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference. During the Conferencer I had the opportunity  to  talk  with  many  fascinating people from many countries around

LTAA
the world. It was during that journey that I had the pleasure of revisiting both Owen Barfield and Pauline Baynes at their residences. I personally presented them each with the Mythopoeic Society's Life Time Achievement Award (LTAA), to express sincere appreciation for all their life time accomplishments. This 1992 English journey was memorable in countless ways.
In 1998 the C.S. Lewis Centenary Conference was held at Wheaton College, Illinois. There was hope to also make this event the Centenary Conference for Owen Barfield as well, with him attending. Unfortunatley he declined traveling due to poor health, and sadly he passed away, just a few months short of his 100th birthday and the Conference. However, in his honor, we kept the name, and scheduled program events. I primarily remember him as a man of utmost courtesy and kindness.
By the end of 1998 I had spent 30 years of constant on-going involvement with the Mythopoeic Society, founding first the Society and then five discussion groups, moderating discussions, organizing and facilitating annual events — picnics and conferences, editing five separate publications, trying to help the Society in as many ways as I could. Finally, with the purchase of my own home, I came to the realization that I could not continue as I had, and have a life of my own as well — there was not sufficient time to do both well. After 1998, I withdrew from active Society involvement, but nothing can dilute 30 years of innumerable memories of very rich and rewarding experiences. My interest in Lewis, Tolkien and Williams has continued on, as has my collecting.
As with many other people's experience with the internet, it changed my life in many ways, and how I collected book dramatically, making it faster and easier. But there remained a frustrating barrier in searching on the internet — let me explain. If say, I went to a search engine (my favorite by far is Google) and typed in “Lewis French books” or “Narnia French,” I would get responses like responses like “I just read the Narnia books....we had French Fries for lunch...” or “a new edition of the Narnia... he was half Hungarian and half Czech...” In other words, there was no link between the words, save only that the words appeared on the same page. Typing in Narnia+French did not produce much better.
What I needed was the names of the Narnia books in a given language to find the information to make an entry. In November and December of 2004, recovering from major knee surgery, I had free time to do research on the laptop set up on a swing-away table next to my bed. Exactly how I accomplished what is presented on this website is a long, convoluted, and probably tedious tale. I will mention that searching for all the languages listed was an exciting challenge. Some were fairly easy to locate, while others were stubbornly elusive, such as Bulgarian. I intuitively suspected it had Narnia translations, since nearly all its neighboring languages had them. Searching for books in the Cyrillic alphabet was difficult, but when Bulgarian Narnia books were finally found, after many repeated searches, it was almost like an electric thrill, as other languages had been before. I began the translation list with about 16 languages, which quickly climbed to about 36, but stubbornly remained there until the others were found. It should be noted that the Internet is constantly changing, and thus what I found six months ago may not be found now, but then again, returning now may produce what was not there before.
My goal has been and is to overcome the frustrations and limitations listed above and at the same time help other Narnia readers, collectors and lovers. I have tried to find information about translations in a given language, and to present as complete as possible a website of all the languages and editions as is humanly possible. Even people who are not interested in foreign translations per se, I hope will enjoy seeing the different artistic presentations of the Narnia books, many of which have been unknown to readers limited to English editions.
I have tried to present the best information that could be found. If an entry has missing information, such as the illustrator, the ISBN, or the image, it usually means that information could not be found. There are three ways information has been obtained: from the internet, from books physically available, and from helpful and cooperative publishers.
You as a reader of this website are invited to be the fourth source of information. If you know of 1) missing information in an entry, 2) other editions of a given language, or 3) any other language into which Narnia books have been translated, please contact us. Your contribution will be gratefully listed on the Acknowledgments page.
This website is a “labor of love” with no thought of financial gain, and the costs are paid by myself.
To close, each of us must, as seriously and diligently as possible, follow the desires of our heart, with clarity, charity, and openness of mind. Sometimes along our journey we may meet others with similar interests and remark, as Lewis did, “What! You too. I thought I was the only one!” But following our path can be satisfying whether we meet kindred hearts along the way or not. It is the vision that sustains us.
Your comments, suggestions and further information are very welcome. You can contact us at
narnia_translations@inklingsfocus.com

Glen H. GoodKnight

Footnotes
  1. I humorously tell the story that I remember my mother cleaning up after breakfast, while I lay in my crib, when the news of the bombing came over the radio.
  2. The website for the Mythopoeic Society is http://www.mythsoc.org
  3. Copies of The Narnia Conference Proceedings and back issues of Mythlore can be ordered at this URL http://www.mythsoc.org/prices.html#PROC
  4. Mythlore Issue 84, Summer 1998, The C.S. Lewis Centenary Special Issue, features on pages 59-66 “A C.S. Lewis Related Cumulative Index of Mythlore, Issues 1-84” which is meant as a research tool for scholars both professional and personal.
  5. C.S. Lewis, a Walck Monograph, New York, 1963, and C.S. Lewis A Biography by Green and Walter Hooper, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York and London, 1974 ISBN: 0-15-123190-7.

   

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