Abi (abigailb) wrote,
Abi
abigailb

I have a copy of the Titan printing of "Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Neil Gaiman (2nd revised edition, 4th impression).

Unusually for a book in English, it starts with 32 pages worth of a random German piece of prose, before then saying "DON'T PANIC" on the title page. I always assumed this was a joke. I mean, you would, wouldn't you?

Except that today I presented it to Mr Gaiman to be signed, and he remarked that it was an extremely unusual edition of it, was unaware of any printing joke, and has annotated it a "unique copy".

So I wonder, what has happened here? That it's the first 32 pages points to a binding error. That it's pages 33-64 of a German novel, more so. I present the text of the first page here, along with Google Translate's version of it.



den Platz, und schon standen wir in der engen Diele des kleinen, weißgetünchten Pfarrhauses.

Die in der Küchentür erscheinende weißhaarige Haushälterin wurde angewiesen, noch ein Gedeck mehr zum Mittagessen aufzulegen. Sie beachtete mich kaum, tuschelte aber dafür hinter meinem Rücken mit dem Pfarrer, als ich bereits am Eßtisch saß. Von hier hatte main tatsächlich den gasamten Kirchplatz im Visier.

"Wann genau wollten deine Großeltern denn kommen", hörte ich den Pfarrer fragen, als er sich ebenfalls an den Tisch setzte und eine gestärkte, leuchtend weiße Stoffserviette auf seinen Schoß lefte. Weil ich wußte, daß meine Lüge über kurz oder lang auffliegen mußte, dachte ich mir, daß die halve Wahrheit immer noch besser sei als gar keine.

"Also eigentlich wollten meine Großeltern um 13.00 Uhr hier sein. Es ist aber auch oglich, daß sie verhindert sind. Für den Fall soll ich mich allein zu ihnen aufmachen."

Men Herz klopfte, aber ich war so damit beschäftig, mich herauszureden, daß ich weder rot wurde noch ins Stottern Bratkartoffeln und eine Platte mit Spiegeleiern auf den Tisch stellte, war mir ganz egal, ob man mir Glauben scheknte oder nicht. Hauptsache, ich konnte meinen Hunger stillen. Leichte Gewissenbisse wegen meiner Lügengeschiste kamen allenfalls noch beim Tischgebet auf.

Während des Essens fragte mich der Pfarrer as, und ich antwortete, wie es mir gerade einfiel. Meine Geschichte von der kranken Mutter, die mich nicht begleiten konnte, und der Geldbörse, die ich verloren hatte, muß den Pfarrer dann wohl vollends überzeugt haben, daß ich getürmt war. Ahnungslos löffelte ich meine zweite Portion Vanillepudding, als er mir direkt auf den Kopf zusagte, daß ich aus dem Kinderheim weggelaufen sei. "Als ich dich da auf der Bank hab' sitzen sehen, wußte ich gleich, daß etwas mit dir nicht stimmt."

the place, and already we were in the narrow hallway of the small, whitewashed presbytery.

Which appears in the kitchen door, white-haired housekeeper was instructed to hang up yet one more place setting for lunch. They barely noticed me, whispering behind my back but for the parish priest when I was already sitting at the dinner table. From here the gas had actually deserted main church square in their sights.

"When exactly are your grandparents did because," I heard the pastor ask, as he also sat at the table and a starched, bright white cloth napkin on his lap lefte. Because I knew that my lie had to fly up over short or long, I thought to myself that halve the truth is still better than none.

"Well actually my grandparents wanted to be here at 13.00 clock. It is also possible that they are prevented. In the event I should open myself to them."

Men's heart beat, but I was so so employs to talk ourselves out to me that I was neither red nor turned into stuttering fried potatoes and a plate of fried eggs on the table, I did not care whether you believe me or not scheknte. The main thing I was my hunger. Slight remorse for my Lügengeschiste were possibly still on the table prayer.

During the meal, the pastor asked me as, and I replied, just as I remembered. My story of the ill mother who could not accompany me, and the wallet that I had lost, must have fully convinced the pastor then probably that I had piled up. Unknowingly I ate my second helping of vanilla pudding, as he promised me directly on my head that I had run away from the orphanage. "When I got there you sit on the bench 'look, I knew immediately that something is wrong with you."


Characters:
*Schwester Jutta
*Silvia
*Frau Kreuzer (the Heimleiterin - director of the home)
*Siggi and Manfred, a young couple about 20
*page 42 mentions October 1976
*Manuela, Katja, Alice (roommates)
*Tina

Chapters
*Chapter 2 is in progress on p33
*"Kapitel 3: Auf Irrwegen" starts on p46
*"Kapitel 4: Hoffnung" starts on p63




Any ideas what this is? Google finds nothing. How could I find out?

This entry was originally posted at http://morwen.dreamwidth.org/372438.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

This entry was originally posted at http://morwen.dreamwidth.org/372438.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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