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[Blogue] Ler no original

Já aqui falei uma ou outra vez no quão úteis acho os audiobooks porque me permitem ler enquanto trato das tarefas domésticas ou durante as minhas caminhadas. Ontem decidi começar a ouvir The Sign of Four, de Arthur Conan Doyle, não só porque tenho o livro físico (numa edição portuguesa) e é menos um na pilha, mas porque a Cat me recomendou este narrador em particular. Ouvi os primeiros 4 capítulos de seguida e, quando peguei no livro físico para marcar o meu avanço na história, abri-o, por acaso, na primeira página e dei uma vista de olhos. Qual não foi o meu espanto quando reparei que a forma como o Capítulo 1 começava não era a mesma que tinha acabado de ouvir.

 

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O texto encontra-se facilmente online, por já estar em domínio público, e aqui está a parte omitida: 

Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle and rolled back his left shirtcuff. For some little time his eyes rested thoughtfully upon the sinewy forearm and wrist, all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture-marks. Finally, he thrust the sharp point home, pressed down the tiny piston, and sank back into the velvet-lined armchair with a long sigh of satisfaction.

Three times a day for many months I had witnessed this performance, but custom had not reconciled my mind to it. On the contrary, from day to day I had become more irritable at the sight, and my conscience swelled nightly within me at the thought that I had lacked the courage to protest. Again and again I had registered a vow that I should deliver my soul upon the subject; but there was that in the cool, nonchalant air of my companion which made him the last man with whom one would care to take anything approaching to a liberty. His great powers, his masterly manner, and the experience which I had had of his many extraordinary qualities, all made me diffident and backward in crossing him.

Yet upon that afternoon, whether it was the Beaune which I had taken with my lunch or the additional exasperation produced by the extreme deliberation of his manner, I suddenly felt that I could hold out no longer.

“Which is it to-day,” I asked, “morphine or cocaine?”

He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume which he had opened.

“It is cocaine,” he said, “a seven-per-cent solution. Would you care to try it?”

“No, indeed,” I answered brusquely. “My constitution has not got over the Afghan campaign yet. I cannot afford to throw any extra strain upon it.”

He smiled at my vehemence. “Perhaps you are right, Watson,” he said. “I suppose that its influence is physically a bad one. I find it, however, so transcendently stimulating and clarifying to the mind that its secondary action is a matter of small moment.”

“But consider!” I said earnestly. “Count the cost! Your brain may, as you say, be roused and excited, but it is a pathological and morbid process which involves increased tissue-change and may at least leave a permanent weakness. You know, too, what a black reaction comes upon you. Surely the game is hardly worth the candle. Why should you, for a mere passing pleasure, risk the loss of those great powers with which you have been endowed? Remember that I speak not only as one comrade to another but as a medical man to one for whose constitution he is to some extent answerable.”

He did not seem offended. On the contrary, he put his finger-tips together, and leaned his elbows on the arms of his chair, like one who has a relish for conversation.

 

 

Se tiverem paciência para ler o excerto acima perceberão que o que aqui está é uma parte importante da caracterização da personagem Sherlock Holmes, porque demonstra uma das ocasiões em que usou drogas. Eu quero acreditar que isto se tratou de um erro na composição do livro ou algo semelhante, mas a verdade é que se tivesse lido apenas a edição portuguesa nem teria reparado nesta omissão. E isto leva-me imediatamente a uma linha de pensamento que me assalta cada vez com mais frequência, e que tem a ver com as vantagens de ler as coisas na língua original em que foram escritas, desde que o consiga, obviamente. Não quero com isto dizer que não há boas edições em Portugal, com boas traduções, longe disso. E acredito até que casos como o que encontrei ontem sejam uma minoria. Mas para mim, um caso já é demais. 


Sobre Célia

Tenho 37 anos e adoro ler desde que me conheço. O blogue Estante de Livros foi criado em Julho de 2007, e nasceu da minha vontade de partilhar as opiniões sobre o que ia lendo. Gosto de ler muitos géneros diferentes. Alguns dos favoritos são fantasia, romances históricos, policiais/thrillers e não-ficção.