Quotation from a book I'm reading

...I began to fear it might happen to me as to certain translators, and imitators of Shakespeare; the unities may be preserved, while the spirit is evaporated.
Clara Reeve (1729–1807), from The Old English Baron

This is indeed a problem for many translators, especially those who translate literature. They manage to render the story faithfully, but lose the spirit of the original.


Comments

Audra said…
Ooh, very striking quote! I esp like that last bit: "...the spirit is evaporated."
George said…
The best book I've read about the art of translation is: Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language (ISBN 0-465-08645-4), published by Basic Books in 1997. This is a book by Douglas Hofstadter in which he explores the meaning, strengths, failings, and beauty of translation. Hofstadter himself refers to it as "my ruminations on the art of translation". Just a brilliant book!
Bibliophile said…
George, thanks for the recommendation. This is one I hadn't heard of before.
George said…
Hofstadter's book really speaks to the art of translation the way no other book I've read does. Thought-provoking!
Geosi Reads said…
Brilliant quote! Powerful quote! Thanks for this.

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