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"The Categorical Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Industries"
September 1, 2009 1:13 PM   Subscribe

The University of Michigan's collaborative translation of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encylopédie has completed some 650 selections from the Enlightenment keystone, including articles on California, vanilla, werewolves, the English language, beauty, and the complete structure of human knowledge.

The project has an open call for translators to help with the 74,000 remaining articles.
posted by Iridic (7 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
California: large peninsula in North America, north of the Southern Sea, inhabited by savages who worship the moon. Each family there lives as it pleases, without being subject to any form of government.

I'm pretty sure this is Pat Buchanan's definition of California, too. Berkeley, at any rate. Sweet find, thanks for sharing.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:20 PM on September 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


It appears they already had furries back then:

"A man," he says, "by means of unbridled imagination falls into the madness of believing that he turns into a wolf each night. This disordered imagination cannot help but make him perform such actions as wolves do or are supposed to do...
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2009


On a more serious note, the werewolf entry is well worth reading: They didn't call it the Enlightenment for nothing.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:40 PM on September 1, 2009


Yeah, Malebranche's takedown of the werewolf mysticism is a beauty.
posted by darkstar at 2:10 PM on September 1, 2009


It seems remarkable it's never been translated.
posted by stbalbach at 2:44 PM on September 1, 2009


Yeah, Malebranche's takedown of the werewolf mysticism is a beauty.

Eh, if he'd written it today he'd have people screaming at him and calling him a skeptical jerk.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:18 PM on September 1, 2009


The project has an open call for translators

Volunteered. I love the Encyclopédie, and will cheerfully put in some spadework.

It seems remarkable it's never been translated.

It does, yes, although perhaps less so if you consider the original project was itself to be a translation of Ephraim Chambers' 1728 Cyclopaedia.
posted by Wolof at 5:00 PM on September 1, 2009


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