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Friday, May 10, 2019

Mediocre (x)

It is one thing to say "Mayhew is wrong..."  Then I can just see why I am wrong (or not) and move on. What rankles me is the attribution of a mediocre argument, one I would never make, to me. In particular, the idea is that the American reception of Lorca gets him wrong, and that insufficient translations are an index of that. Of course I analyze translations and comment on specific ways they succeed to fall short. If you aren't able to do that, then you take away a set of analytical tools.

I thought I was very careful to say there's not a real Lorca that they are getting wrong. Instead, I talk about certain emphases, the selection of some texts rather than others, or the emphasis on one dimension rather than another. What emerges is not a deficient or mediocre Lorca, but something else.


Leslie B. said...

One of my professors used to talk about "the French Freud." Freud as understood in the French tradition. Not a wrong Freud -- just a French one.

Jonathan said...

Right. That's exactly it.