Monday, June 02, 2014

What He Really Meant Was...

Translation in an earlier time did not insist on point-to-point accuracy.
Where Montaigne writes, "Our Germans, drowned in wine (now Allemans, noyez dan le vin) Florio has "our carowsing tospot German soulders, when they are moses plunged in their cups, and as drunke as Rats." A phrase which the modern translator Donald Frame renders calmly as "werewolves, goblins, and chimeras" emerges from Floriation as "Larves, Hobgoblins, Robbin-good-fellows, and other such Bug-beres and Chimeras"--a piece of pure Midsummer Night's Dream.
So Sarah Bakewell in How to Live 277 (2010), her exposition in the guise of a biography of Montaigne.

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