NABOKV-L post 0002242, Tue, 22 Jul 1997 12:37:49 -0700

New Hofstadter book on translation (fwd)
EDITORIAL NOTE. From other revies I have seen, I gather, Mr. Hofstadter
takes strong exception to VN's view's of translation.
All Nabokovians should be alerted to a fine, if inevitably quite
controversial, new book by Douglas R. Hofstadter, called Le Ton Beau de
Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language. (Basic Books, 1997).

Hofstadter, the well-known Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Goedel,
Escher, Bach, takes as his inspiration for this book a myriad of
translations (literal, whimsical, literary) of a short, 28-line poem by
Clement Marot, Ma Mignonne. The translations form the backbone of the
book, and are used as the framework for discussion of translation issues
in general. Not all Nabokovians will tend to agree with Hofstadter's
resulting philosophy of translation, but his handling of the surrounding
issues is comprehensive, witty, at times quite moving, and very
enjoyable. A lengthy section on Nabokov-Pushkin is, in fact, quite
possibly capable of swaying even a staunch Nabokovian over towards the
Bunny end of the Volodya-Bunny spectrum.

Highly recommended.

Peter Kretzman