The Good News of Translation, 3.17.2017

by Mark Chmiel

Opera excepted, I never asked myself, in those early years of reading literature in translation, what I was missing. It was as if I felt it were my job, as a passionate reader, to see through the faults or limitations of a translation–as one sees through (or looks past) the scratches on a bad print of a beloved old film one is seeing once again. Translations were a gift, for which I would always be grateful. What–rather, who–would I be without Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and Chekhov?

–Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays & Speeches

 

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