Traducción Literaria en Inglés 1. Unidad 1 From: Punch, or The London Charivari. Vol. 147. July 1, 1914.
A SCANDALMONGRIAN ROMANCE
  
(By Francis Scribble.) [The following article, specially written for us by the Author of "Ten Frail Beauties of the Restoration," "Tales Told by a Royal Washerwoman," etc., is another important contribution to the literature of the Royal Dirty-Linen Bag.] A day or two ago a short notice in the papers told of the death of Mrs. Maria Tubbs at Cannes; but few, if any, of those who read that brief announcement will have recognised in it the close of one of the most amazing careers of the nineteenth century. Yet little surprise need be expressed at this general ignorance, for who would think to find under that somewhat common-place name the ravishingly beautiful Maria Cotherstone, who, forty years ago, was swept by Fate into the track of the late King of Scandalmongria, and well-nigh caused that singularly unstable bark to founder? It is with the kindly object of rescuing her romance from oblivion that this brief chronicle is written. In 1873 the Scandalmongrian Minister in London was requested to find an English lady to take charge of the two children of his Royal master, and, after searching enquiries, he was successful, and Miss Maria Cotherstone turned her back on England never more to return. She was just twenty-two, fresh and blooming, possessed of the gayest of spirits, delightful manners and the highest accomplishments. Quietly she assumed control of the Royal schoolroom, and by her charm no less than by her firmness she quickly won the respect and love of her charges. Well had it been for her memory if her influence had never spread beyond the walls of her schoolroom; this article had then been unwritten. But alas for human nature! One day His Majesty's eyes fell upon the person of his children's governess, and then began one of the most sordid intrigues it has ever been my pleasure to recall. [A large statement, as readers of our author's Gleanings from a Royal Dustbin will readily acknowledge. However, the succeeding three-quarter of a column of details, here omitted, prove that there is at least some foundation for the remark.] ... And so their romance ended, and His Majesty returned to the bosom of his family and became once more the righteous upholder of the sanctity of the marriage tie. At first his easygoing Court smiled somewhat at the claim; but, when one or two highly-placed officials presumed to follow in the footsteps of their Sovereign, and were in consequence banished irrevocably from his presence, Scandalmongrian Society realised with a pained surprise that what is venial in a monarch may, in a subject, be a damnable offence. And what of Maria, the charming, fascinating, much injured Maria? For several years she is lost, and then we hear of her marriage at Rome to "John Tubbs, Esq., of London," and once again she vanishes, only to turn up many years later at Cannes. She is a widow now, and a model of all the virtues. Who so staid and respectable as Madam? Who so charitable to the poor? Few, it is to be feared, will have recognised in that handsome old lady, so regular in her attendance at the services of the English Church, the beauteous Maria Cotherstone whose name was once on the lips of everybody from one end of Europe to the other. It nearly happened, indeed, that she went down to her grave with all her scandalous, feverish past forgotten, leaving behind her only the fragrant memory of her later life. But I have saved her. It is a queer story, quite interesting enough to recall.
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On Poetry Versions TOMAS TRANSTROMER’S POEMS AND THE ART OF TRANSLATION By David Orr
Published: March 9, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/books/review/tomas-transtromers-poems-and-the-art-oftranslation.html?nl=books&emc=edit_bk_20120309
     
If you’re a poet outside the Anglophone world, and you manage to win the Nobel Prize, two things are likely to happen. First, your ascendancy will be questioned by fiction critics in a major English-language news publication. Second, there will be a fair amount of pushing and shoving among your translators (if you have any), as publishers attempt to capitalize on your 15 minutes of free media attention. And lo, for the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, it has come to pass. The questioning came from, among others, Philip Hensher for The Telegraph (in Britain) and Hephzibah Anderson for Bloomberg News, both of whom implied that real writers — Philip Roth, for instance — had been bypassed to flatter a country largely inhabited by melancholic reindeer. And when Transtromer hasn’t been doubted by fiction critics, he’s been clutched at by publishing houses. Since his Nobel moment in October, three different Transtromer books have been released (or reissued): THE DELETED WORLD: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $13), with translations by the Scottish poet Robin Robertson; TOMAS TRANSTROMER: Selected Poems (Ecco/HarperCollins, $15.99), edited by Robert Hass; and FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: Poems and a Memoir (Ecco/HarperCollins, $15.99), edited by Daniel Halpern. These books join two major collections already in print: “The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer,” from Graywolf Press, translated by Robert Bly, and “The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems,” from New Directions, translated by Robin Fulton. So a little complaining, a glut of books: pretty typical. But what’s unusual about Transtromer is that the most interesting debates over English versions of his work actually took place before his Nobel victory. In this case, the argument went to the heart of the translator’s function and occurred mostly in The Times Literary Supplement. The disputants were Fulton, one of Transtromer’s longest-serving translators, and Robertson, who has described his own efforts as “imitations.” Fulton accused Robertson (who doesn’t speak Swedish) of borrowing from his more faithful versions while inserting superfluous bits of Robertson’s own creation — in essence, creating poems that are neither accurate translations nor interesting departures. Fulton rolled his eyes at “the strange current fashion whereby a ‘translation’ is liable to be praised in inverse proportion to the ‘translator’s’ knowledge of the original language.” Robertson’s supporters countered that Fulton was just annoyed because Robertson was more concerned with the spirit of the poems than with getting every little kottbulle exactly right. To understand this dispute, it’s necessary to have a sense of the poetry itself. Transtromer prefers still, pared-down arrangements that rely more on image and tone than, say, peculiarities of diction or references to local culture. The voice is typically calm yet weary, as if the lines were meant to be read after midnight, in an office from which everyone else had gone home. And his gift for metaphor is remarkable, as in the start of “Open and Closed Spaces” (in Fulton’s translation): A man feels the world with his work like a glove. He rests for a while at midday having laid aside the gloves on the shelf. They suddenly grow, spread, and black out the whole house from inside. The first comparison is surprising enough — work is a glove? With which we feel the world? But notice how quickly yet smoothly Transtromer extends the metaphor into even stranger territory; the gloves expand from the refuge of the house (which is implicitly the
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private self) to obscure everything we know and are. The poem becomes a meditation on what constitutes a prison, what could be considered a release (“ ‘Amnesty,’ runs the whisper in the grass”) and whether these might lie closer together than we realize. It ends: Further north you can see from a summit the endless blue carpet of pine forest where the cloud shadows are standing still. No, are flying. The clouds appear motionless but are actually flying — just as our lives move, or fail to move, in ways we only dimly understand. Open spaces may become closed, but the reverse is true as well. Transtromer, trained as a psychologist, has always been interested in the ways our personalities obscure as much as they reveal. “Two truths approach each other,” he writes in “Preludes” (translation by May Swenson), “One comes from within, / one comes from without — and where they meet you have the chance / to catch a look at yourself.” In this context, his heavy reliance on metaphor isn’t surprising. A metaphor insists on the similarity of its tenor and vehicle, but also declares their fundamental difference: after all, the metaphor itself would be unnecessary if its components were identical. These countervailing purposes become, in Transtromer’s hands, a way of holding together what he can and can’t say. As he puts it in Fulton’s translation of “April and Silence”: “I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case.” He balances these often startling juxtapositions with simple diction and generally straightforward syntax, making the complexity of his poetry a matter of depth rather than surface. His poems are small, cool fields dissolving into dreams at their borders. This is exactly the sort of writing that tends to do well in translation, at least in theory. The plainer a poem looks — the less it relies on extremities of form, diction or syntax — the more we assume that even a translator with no knowledge of the original language will be able to produce a reasonable match for what the poem feels like in its first incarnation. The problem is, simple can be complicated. It’s impossible to say how much Robertson did or didn’t rely on Fulton’s translations in preparing “The Deleted World,” but it’s not too hard (if you can corral a Swedish friend, as I did) to figure out where he deviates from the originals. The changes generally make Transtromer less, well, strange and more typically “poetic.” Consider “Autumnal Archipelago (Storm),” which in Robertson’s version begins like so: Suddenly the walker comes upon the ancient oak: a huge rooted elk whose hardwood antlers, wide as this horizon, guard the stone-green walls of the sea. And here is Fulton’s more literal take: Here the walker suddenly meets the giant oak tree, like a petrified elk whose crown is furlongs wide before the September ocean’s murky green fortress. Robertson forgoes the poem’s Sapphic stanza form, which seems reasonable, but he also turns the passage’s deliciously bizarre doubled metaphor (an oak tree is like an elk turned to stone) into a less jarring formulation. Similarly, in “From March 1979,” Robertson translates the line “Det vilda har inga ord” into “Wilderness has no words” when a more accurate version would be “The wild has no words” (Fulton says “The untamed . . . ”). “Wilderness” is a bunch of trees; “the wild” is another thing entirely. But perhaps the least successful adjustment is in “Calling Home”: Our phonecall spilled out into the dark and glittered between the countryside
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and the town like the mess of a knife-fight. There’s no fight, with knives or otherwise, in the original — Transtromer’s speaker “slept uneasily” after the call home, but the cause of his unease is unresolved. Again, the poem seems simplified. That said, some of Robertson’s alterations do a fine job of conveying a poem’s spirit. Rather than using the literal “shriveled” to describe a sail, he says it’s “grey with mildew.” Rather than telling us that “dead bodies” are smuggled into “a silent world,” he says “the dead” are so transported. In general, while one can quibble about Robertson’s book, “The Deleted World” is pleasurable whether or not it’s a good translation of Transtromer. Is that enough? In some ways, certainly — we read poetry for entertainment, not nutritional value. But translating a poem is like covering a song. We can savor the liberties someone is taking with, say, “Gin and Juice” in a way we couldn’t understand similar variations on songs written by Martians. And Transtromer, however popular he is among poets, remains largely unknown to readers eager to see work from the new Nobel laureate. In this instance, even a sincere imitation probably isn’t the most helpful form of flattery. A version of this review appeared in print on March 11, 2012, on page BR20 of the Sunday Book Review with the headline: Versions.