NABOKV-L post 0017435, Mon, 8 Dec 2008 15:24:44 -0200

Santa Klaus has just delivered at my door "Verses and Versions" ( Three centuries of Russian Poetry, selected and translated by Vladimir Nabokov), in a beautiful edition by B. Boyd and S.Shvabrin (Harcourt Inc.). In Brian Boyd's Introduction, the last paragraph, he develops on Pushkin's comparison of translators "to horses changed at the post houses of civilization": "In his earlier and more accessible translations, Nabokov makes us feel the posthoreses have arrived [...] In his later work, translation is not the illusion of arrival but the start of a journey..." A veritable treasure finely illustrated with acanthus leaves.

And, while leafing through, my eye alighted on a sentence in which VN stated that a translator "should be absolutely honest, should not bypass difficulties...He should be of the same sex as his paid princely sums for his works..." Interesting and thorny!

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