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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hazo / Adonis

I checked out three translations by Samuel Hazo of the Syrian poet Adonis, without looking very closely at them. I was reading them just now and I noticed something odd.

The first is from 1971.

The second, from 1983, by a different publisher, is almost identical. It includes only 2 or three additional poems. At least it makes transparent its relation to the first volume, but ...

A third, from a third publisher, from 1994, makes no mention of the first two, and includes the same exact poems, in the same translations--with about 10 additional poems.

So I could have just checked out the '94 volume. (Maybe I missed a 2007 one with the same poems and a few slight additions!) It seems a bit questionable to publish a new book that is really just a slight revision of a previous one. If he had kept at least the same title it would be clear that it is essentially an expansion of an earlier book. I am calling him out for resumé padding--or something. I wonder if the publishers noticed or cared?

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