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Literary A True Story by Lucian of Samosata
#1  sun surfer 07-15-2019, 09:52 AM
'Widely hailed as the first science fiction story, A True Story by Lucian of Samosata is a voyage to the edges of the universe and reason. The title is the first clue that this will be a tall tale. As much a predecessor of Douglas Adams as Jules Verne, Lucian's fantasy explores not only outer space (where he brokers war and peace between the inhabitants of the sun and moon), but also the Elysian fields, the geography of the Odyssey, and the interior of a giant whale. We get to meet Homer, Pythagoras, Socrates, and other immortals, as well as a host of bizarre creatures. The text is riddled with puns, innuendo, parody and satire. The narrative breaks off in the second book. Whether there were more adventures or Lucian just ran out of ideas is unknown.'

This book has many variations of its translated title, including 'The True Story', 'True History', 'Lucian's True History', etc. It is also known in English as 'Trips to the Moon'.

Goodreads


Anyone can discuss any part or aspect at any time, though there's a softly recommended timeframe of discussing the entire book by the time next month's selection is finalised (usually around the 10th).


This is the MR Literary Club selection for July 2019. Everyone is welcome so feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time; the more the merrier!


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#2  Bookworm_Girl 07-16-2019, 11:38 PM
I'm reading True History Decrypted: Full Text and Commentary of Lucian's True History published by Frank Redmond. It's $2.99 for the Kindle version. Reading an annotated version is making a big difference to me in understanding the text. I also saw that there are illustrated editions available. I think it would be fun to have the pictures accompany the text because some of the stories/places/people are quite imaginative.
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#3  Spinnenmonat 07-17-2019, 01:23 AM
Hi Bookworm Girl, who's the translator of the version you are reading now?
I think it's always wise to read the annotated versions of any very old book because we need a lot of informations about the cultural background so as to understand it correctly and deeply.
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#4  Bookworm_Girl 07-17-2019, 09:56 AM
The text is translated by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler. It has not been bowdlerized to remove what was considered improper content as I read some versions of the text translated in the Victorian era were.
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#5  sun surfer 07-17-2019, 10:07 AM
Thanks, Bookworm_Girl. I downloaded a free version and was going to post (well, am posting, heh) that there are free translations available at gutenberg.org and The University of Adelaide websites since there aren't any versions here at Mobileread.

On Amazon it is difficult to find a completely free version, but there are 'Works of Lucian of Samosata' in four volumes, the first three of which I can find and are free on Kindle. There are no Kindle previews of them, but there are paperback previews, and from the paperback preview The True History is listed as included in the second volume. Here is the Kindle link for it if anyone is interested.

However now I think I'll go with the same version as you.
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#6  fantasyfan 07-17-2019, 12:01 PM
I’ll give the Project Gutenberg version translated by Hickes a try. It has illustrations by William Strang, J. B. Clark and Aubrey Beardsley.
Librivox also has an audio version though I haven’t yet heard it.
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#7  AnotherCat 07-17-2019, 06:41 PM
There is an online copy of True History Decrypted: Full Text and Commentary of Lucian's True History at lucianofsamosata.info. Just put True History Decrypted in the search bar of the page the link lands one on and it should go right to it.

But the book itself is cheap enough and likely more convenient.
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#8  Bookworm_Girl 07-18-2019, 12:37 AM
Quote fantasyfan
I’ll give the Project Gutenberg version translated by Hickes a try. It has illustrations by William Strang, J. B. Clark and Aubrey Beardsley.
Librivox also has an audio version though I haven’t yet heard it.
Thank you! The book that I got uses an Aubrey Beardsley illustration as the cover image and cites this version as its reference. You have saved me the time of trying to find it because I would like to see the illustrations. I think it will enhance the experience.
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#9  Spinnenmonat 07-18-2019, 07:29 AM
Has anybody tried the version of Delphi Classics, is it a good bargain?
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#10  fantasyfan 07-18-2019, 07:42 AM
Quote Spinnenmonat
Has anybody tried the version of Delphi Classics, is it a good bargain?
They are usually very good bargains with excellent additional material and illustrations though they do use older public domain translations.. I haven't tried this one but it might be worth downloading a sample. A lot would depend on whether one would like to go deeper into the other works of the author.
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