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« Contributor's Note to "Once upon a Time" by Anthony Madrid | Main | Magritte's "Attempting the Impossible" (1928) »

September 19, 2013

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Paired translations, like Wilbur's Brodsky, work best when there is a real collaboration and back-and-forth between the literal-renderer and the poetic-renderer, not just a poet working in one direction from a literal version. The problem we have with most contemporary verse translations is that few people have both the necessary mastery of another language and its idioms and literature *and* the ability to render a comparable experience in English verse; we get a lot of vaguely melodic paraphrase. I'm a participant, but I think Maxwell's Brodsky translations are really successful heirs of the Wilbur tradition. It's slow work though.

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