The following text is the English version of the Translator’s note included in the forthcoming Surprised by Joy (due to be published this spring, by Humanitas).
“Although the present translation is published under one signature, it is the result of collaboration with a number of people, most of whom, despite not having met me in person, offered me warmly their support nonetheless. Without them, my endeavour to translate such a difficult book would have met the same fate as the one that befell the attempt made by the jackdaw described in one of Aesop’s fables.
To Paul Leopold thanks are due for the care and diligence with which he watched in order to preclude the involuntary betrayals of which the translators so often become guilty. The intense and fertile email exchange that I have had with him during all this time has provided priceless guidance on the immense ocean of English language and literature, which he navigates with great confidence.
To Walter Hooper, literary adviser to the estate of C. S. Lewis, I thank for the kindness with which he accepted the invitation to write the Preface to the present edition. I also owe him thanks for the fact that, despite his intense work schedule, he has found the time to illuminate different minute aspects about the book or its author.
Arend Smilde, the Dutch translator of many books by C. S. Lewis, made available to me the results of his laborious research, undertaken prior to publishing the second edition of Verrast Door Vreugde. In thanking him, I also thank those who generously helped him. Even though I have tried to make it up to him by supplying some solutions to queries unsolved by him, my debt of gratitude to him remains huge.
Many thanks go also to Andy Reyes, teacher at Groton School, USA, whom I have importuned a few times with queries about the classical quotations in the original.
I couldn’t close without addressing thanks equally to Heidy Truty, Maria Buturugă, Adela Toplean, David Dodds, Christopher Mitchell, Colin Duriez, Tyler Fisher, Virgil Hariuc and George Tudorie. Without their help, the way to the completion of the translation would have been longer and more sinuous.”