“The Men that Didn’t Love The Women” – with dragon tatoos

I received this morning an email from a Brazilian literary mailing list with suggestions for things to read this winter (yes, it’s winter break in Brazil right now) and one of the book titles shocked me (in a negative way):

OS HOMENS QUE NÃO AMAVAM AS MULHERES – Stieg Larsson

Which means: “Men that didn’t love women”, which is an odd title by itself. What struck me is that I’ve read this book. It’s an originally Swedish book entitled in English “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, a title that is much less central to the book itself (it’s one of the characters of the book that has many tattoos including a dragon one), but doesn’t summarize the core idea of the book (which is in the core about men that were violent against women).

In order to settle this confusion, I had to go back to the original title of the book, in Swedish:

Män som hatar kvinnor

Which translates to “Men that hate women”. So now I understood where the Brazilian title came from, but where did the English title come from? I searched around and I wasn’t able to find actual references to the reasoning behind the choice for title translation. Maybe I should ask the translator, Reg Keeland (a.k.a. Steven T. Murray, which is his real name), who has a greatly named not-very-active blog:

http://reg-stieglarssonsenglishtranslator.blogspot.com/

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