Crap books and good books (was Re: Best Books of 2004)
klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Thu Jan 20 11:36:19 EST 2005
On Thu, 20 Jan 2005, Otter Perry wrote:
> Speaking of translating things from German, one of the things we had
> to read at university was Kant. And one of the things we were told
> was that German Kant scholars read Kant in the English translation
> because it was so brilliant. [Norman Kemp Smith is the translator
> in question.]
Blink. I had no idea such a thing existed. I have often said that I knew
that it was possible to translate German into good English, because, after
all, Thomas Mann is one of my favorite authors and I've never read him in
the original, and therefore Kant was probably precisely that bad a writer
even in the German. But perhaps it was simply that I had to deal with a
lousy translator after all.
Prometheus: "Grief for awhile is blind and so was mine. / I wish no living
thing to suffer pain."
---Percy Bysshe Shelley, _Prometheus Unbound_
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