The Man Who Planted Trees
April 16, 2005 10:16 PM   Subscribe

"The Man Who Planted Trees" (story) There's also a short note on the copyright, and the original French version.
posted by Space Coyote (13 comments total)
I grew up watching the animated film of this story, still beautiful.
posted by CaptMcalister at 11:47 PM on April 16, 2005

Me too...
Oscar winner for best animated short, 1988.
posted by Silky Slim at 2:45 AM on April 17, 2005

I have this on VHS from years ago, and I agree, it is beautiful. The animation is superb but the story is what makes it great, IMHO.
posted by chrid at 3:00 AM on April 17, 2005

CaptMcalister : Thanks for finding that link. I remember seeing it on PBS years ago but never got the name. The production was lovely and the fact I could never remember the name bothered me for years after on occasion.
posted by Vaska at 5:25 AM on April 17, 2005

There is also a wonderful audio version narrated by Robert J Lurtsema.
posted by alms at 5:39 AM on April 17, 2005

And don't forget the beautiful book with gorgeous wood engravings. There are a few sample pages available at Amazon. I loved this book in college and I didn't even know there was a video. Thanks Space Coyote.
posted by evoo at 6:29 AM on April 17, 2005

Wonderful story -- thanks for sharing it!

One thing bothered me about the translation. Towards the end, describing the revival of the area, there's the sentence:
Une population venue des plaines où la terre se vend cher s'est fixée dans le pays, y apportant de la jeunesse, du mouvement, de l'esprit d'aventure.
Doyle renders it:
Yuppies have come from the plains, where land is expensive, bringing with them youth, movement, and a spirit of adventure.
I don't know what inspired him to stick the totally extraneous word "yuppies" in there (the French just says "a population," which I would render "people"), but I wish he'd had the sense to take it back out before publishing it. Good for him for waiving copyright, though.
posted by languagehat at 6:41 AM on April 17, 2005

languagehat - my bet is that locally, population from the plains means yuppies. Similarly, when one talks broadly about populations from Williamsburg - the intonation is hipster.
posted by jmgorman at 7:30 AM on April 17, 2005

You are right - it is a poor piece of translation - nothing in the original justifies it. Moreover, it is anachronistic.
posted by TimothyMason at 7:55 AM on April 17, 2005

Exactly. If the original story had been written in the '90s, I still wouldn't have liked the translation, but I could see the reasoning behind it. But the story was written over 50 years ago -- there were no yuppies in the south of France or anywhere else. And the gratuitous bit of editorializing seriously damages the wonderfully humanist feel of the story.
posted by languagehat at 11:30 AM on April 17, 2005

The 'yuppies' thing jumped out at me too. Perhaps he was searching for a word to mean 'people from the city with money' and that's all he could find. I only read the english one once over, since I speak Frenchthat's the one I am more familiar with.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:23 PM on April 17, 2005

From memory, Henry Miller devotes a chapter to this the author - Jean Giono - and to "The Man Who Planted Trees" in particular, in his work The Books in My Life
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:46 PM on April 17, 2005

Interesting read--thanks for posting this Space Coyote.
posted by njm at 5:54 AM on April 18, 2005

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