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Gutenberg Error Stops Press!

To the Editor:

If it is not too late already, meaning, if the CD-ROMs containing the "Millennial Moments" materials have not already been produced, I suggest you hold off their production run until you can correct an egregious error of fact contained in the article "The Decline and Fall of Latin and the Rise of English," by David Slavitt, in the October 1999 edition of The World & I.

The blatant error occurs on page 20, in the final sentence of the top paragraph of the main text, which asserts that "the Bible Gutenberg had printed was a German translation, after all."

Not so! Gutenberg printed the Latin Vulgate Bible, not a German translation. In fact, Martin Luther, who completed his translation of the Bible into German only in 1534, was not even born when Gutenberg printed his Latin Bible in 1455.

True, a German-language Bible--the so-called Mentel Bible, the first Bible printed in that language--did appear by 1466 in Strasbourg, but Gutenberg had nothing to do with that, having suffered bankruptcy and forfeiting his press immediately after the appearance of his printed Latin Bible in 1455. He died in 1468.

I hope you are able to correct this error before it infects your production of the CD-ROM, receipt of which I am looking forward to, having just renewed my subscription for another three years.

Duane Larrieu,

Manassas, Virginia

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Publication:World and I
Date:Nov 1, 1999
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