Talk:The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen

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What was the original language?[edit]

Wikipedia/-source talks about English and German translation. What was the original language, then? --Sigmundur (talk) 16:31, 30 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Short answer: English then other languages and additions.
Longer answer:
The fictionalized character was created by a German writer, scientist, and con artist, Rudolf Erich Raspe. Raspe probably met Hieronymus von Münchhausen while studying at the University of Göttingen, and may even have been invited to dine with him at the mansion at Bodenwerder. [...] In 1785 [...] Raspe adapted the Vade mecum anecdotes into a short English-language book, this time identifying the narrator of the book as "Baron Munchausen". Other than the anglicization of Münchhausen to "Munchausen", Raspe this time made no attempt to hide the identity of the man who had inspired him, though he still withheld his own name. This English edition, the first version of the text in which Munchausen appeared as a fully developed literary character, had a circuitous publication history. [...] At least ten editions or translations of the book appeared before Raspe's death in 1794. [...]  The first German translation, Wunderbare Reisen zu Wasser und Lande, was made by the German Romantic poet Gottfried August Bürger. Bürger's text is a close translation of Smith's second edition, but also includes an interpolated story, based on a German legend called "The Six Wonderful Servants". [...] The German version of the stories proved to be even more popular than the English one. [...] Raspe, probably for fear of a libel suit from the real-life Baron von Münchhausen, never admitted his authorship of the book. It was often credited to Bürger, sometimes with an accompanying rumor that the real-life Baron von Münchhausen had met Bürger in Pyrmont and dictated the entire work to him. Another rumor, which circulated widely soon after the German translation was published, claimed that it was a competitive collaboration by three University of Göttingen scholars—Bürger, Abraham Gotthelf Kästner, and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg—with each of the three trying to outdo one another by writing the most unbelievable tale. The scholar Johann Georg Meusel correctly credited Raspe for the core text, but mistakenly asserted that Raspe had written it in German and that an anonymous translator was responsible for the English version. Raspe's authorship was finally proven in 1824 by Bürger's biographer, Karl Reinhard. [...] Nonetheless, no known edition of the book credited Raspe on its title page until John Patrick Carswell's 1948 Cresset Press edition.
~ from Wikipedia: Baron Munchausen#Fictionalization ~ JasonCarswell (talk)