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I love theory

I mean music theory, here. It is funny that what goes by the name music theory would be, in literature, the equivalent of prosody and plot c...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


So I get the idea of working on translations of Machado.  Soon, I discover that there are many of them, and so the resulting article would be too long for an article.  Maybe a chapter of a book. Then I think I can combine this with a related critique of Venuti and of Rothenberg's translations of Lorca's Suites.  Soon, a book is forming in my head. Then I remember that I had planned a book on translation a while back, so I have been working on it without knowing it.  Ideas come thick and fast, all from looking at some small details in how translators get Machado wrong.

Then I think I could do a chapter on Longfellow. He was the major translator from the Spanish in the 19th century. Bryant also could come into play.  Futzing around on the computer for a while makes the ideas flow fast and thick.  It is rather frightening, actually, since a lot of it happened when I was sick (just a cold but one that wiped me out for anything but scholarship.).

Longfellow is very interesting. Once you liberate yourself from the obvious prejudice: that unlike Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson, he is not a precursor to modernism but a man of his own time and somewhat of a middlebrow.  Well, yes.  But he carries forward the German romantic project of worldliterature better than anyone of his day.

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