Saturday, March 10, 2012

Coeurderoy and Vauthier, "The Barrier of the Combat" (1852)

I've posted a working translation of The Barrier of the Combat, by Ernest Coeurderoy and Octave Vauthier. For some explanation of the title, see my earlier post on La Barrière du Combat. The essay, which is aimed at squabbling socialist exiles, ends with Coeurderoy's famous argument that liberty in Europe could only be made possible if a Cossack invasion first wiped away civilization.

Of the early anarchists, Coeurderoy was probably the most accomplished and literary writer, which posed a slightly different set of translation problems than I faced with Bellegarrigue and Déjacque. I've learned a number of things about the language in the course of working through this short pamphlet, and it was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to getting to work on some sections from Hurrah!!! or Revolution by the Cossacks. Coeurderoy, who was a physician before the 1848 revolution, found a champion in the medical community after his death, who produced a short biographical account which I'll post in translation soon.

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