NABOKV-L post 0017777, Sun, 1 Mar 2009 00:32:18 -0300

Re: One Gin
Stan K-Bootle [PS]: Carolyn, in Anti-Terra there's an Anti-Nabokov chat list that you might enjoy ;=)
Carolyn Kunin: I can't comment on Verses and Versions at all, nor did I mean to [...] In my clumsy way I wished to point out that Nabokov in spite of his many great achievements is still open to criticism. My own enormous disappointment with his translation of Evgeniy Onegin [...] is at the root of it... he wrote that if you weren't able to read Pushkin in his original language it was like going your whole life without ever hearing the music of Mozart [...] Pushkin simply cannot be appreciated in any other language. But there was one person who could have given the non-Russian speaker a taste of Pushkin's verse...It doesn't make much difference to me, but I weep for you.

JM: You may weep for me - for all you care. Nevertheless I'm not such a great fan of Mozart. Nor do I agree with Schopenhauer ("The Art of Writing"), in his opposition to translations ( Homer has to be read in Greek, Virgil in Latin, Khayyam in Persian ...).
I can still access directly other important works - one mustn't be too greedy?
I'm aware that I'm going against the prevailing opinion but, for me, there is a spirit of the text ( or a mystery concerning signifiers) that may survive inspite of the translator's verbal infelicities.

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