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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Bly

Bly died. I used to think it was paradoxical that the worst translator of that generation was also the must famous and popular. But it could be that he made translation easy, and hence more accessible to other practioners. Maybe he is the progenitor of Coleman Barks and Daniel Landinsky! You didn't need to know languages, or even work with someone who did.

I was a reviewer (pre-publication) of a book of translations of Miguel Hern├índez many years ago. I noticed that (among the many translators) Bly was the worst. When I did the first Lorca book, I also noticed he and Belitt were the worst translators of Lorca. 

Someone who came out with another book on Lorca and translation who criticized me for being to harsh with Bly, but he couldn't defend Bly's translations in positive terms. He just thought I was too mean.  



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