Friday, November 09, 2007

Links that get longer

"Some of us cannot help but follow the natural rhythm of what we enjoy doing." Ed Champion writes movingly about his famous blog in connection with a shamefully edited book.

Dinah Burch tells us that Arthur Conan Doyle was a "founder member of Portsmouth Football Association Club's team" and that "he also played cricket well into middle age. Other ventures" however "were more serious". What on earth could be more serious than Portsmouth Football Club?

James Longenbach reviews the Hollanders' new translation of Dante's Paradiso. He calls it a "clear, untroubled guide" but then says "if you want to read a poem ... then you're wise to revert to the blank verse translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1867) or the terza rima translation by Laurence Binyon (1933)." I'm not sure if this is wise. Apart from the content, what caused me to feel that Dante was my poet and not some "great" I had to read to gain intellectual brownie points, was the relatively simple or colloquial language used by the modern translators. Such antiquated versions lack the exigency of Dante's journey. Of course, Dante broke with tradition himself by writing in the vernacular; hence perhaps the need for new translations. And you know, Christmas isn't far off.

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