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
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 author...be paid princely sums for his
works..." Interesting and thorny!