Whatever its title, it is a classic of mystery novels and the best-selling work of Agatha Christie (1890-1976). Diez negritos changes its title in French, following the line set by the editions in the United Kingdom and the United States. The new title, published in France by the publishing house Le Masque, is Ils étaient dix ("They were ten").
The novel, of which 100 million copies have been sold worldwide, not only changes its title in French, but its translation has also been revised to eliminate the word " nègre " (black) in the text so as not to hurt sensibilities . This word appeared 74 times in the original translation.
From now on the "island of the black" -stage of this novel in which, one by one, the guests of a mysterious millionaire are murdered without explanation or apparent motive- is called in French the "island of the soldier" , just like than in the English versions.
The publisher Le Masque has decided to change the title and revise the French translation at the request of Agatha Christie Limited, the company that owns the literary and audiovisual rights to the novels of the British writer, considered the queen of mystery.
"We must not use terms that run the risk of hurting" , justified the change of title James Prichard, great-grandson of the British writer, in statements to RTL radio. "When the book was written, the language was different and we were using words that are forgotten today," added Prichard.
Agatha Christie published in 1939 in the United Kingdom the mystery novel with the title Ten little niggers ( Ten little black men ). The original title referred to a children's song to learn to count.
When the book was published in 1940 in the United States, the British writer gave permission for it to be published under a new title, given the pejorative connotations of the word nigger ( nigger ) in English. It was titled And then there were none ("And there was none"), like the last words of the song. In the 1980s, it was published in the UK under that new title. Spain is, along with Greece, one of the few countries in the world that maintains the original title.
Given its public success, the novel has been adapted on numerous occasions to film and television. They Were Ten is also the title of the six-episode miniseries based on the novel by Agatha Christie that will be broadcast this year by the French television network M6: ten unrelated people are invited by the mysterious owner of a Caribbean island and , one by one, they are killed until in the end there are none left. Who is the murderer?
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