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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