OK, I don’t have any deep thoughts ready at hand for my inaugural blog post, just a question about a curious phrase I recently came across in a book. Well, not in the book proper, but in the front matter. So, I was idly browsing through the first few pages of the Penguin edition of Montaigne’s Essays, heading toward the preface, when I saw the following:
“This translation and editorial material copyright © M. A. Screech 1987, 1991, 2003. All rights reserved. The moral right of the translator has been asserted.”
So, what’s with that last line? What sort of moral right would we be talking about here, as compared to a legal right? And how can you assert a moral right without saying what it is that you’re asserting. The whole thing seems very odd. Any thoughts?