On Don Quixote part 2

Feast yourself on this juicy interpretation of Don Quixote at The Argumentative Old Git.

The excerpts quoted from Don Quixote in this post are taken from the translation by John Rutherford, published by Penguin Classics. In the first part of Don Quixote, Don Quixote had dubbed himself The Knight of the Sorry Face. This was how literal-minded Sancho had described him after one of their many misadventures, but Don […]

via The Knight of the Lions: the second part of “Don Quixote” — The Argumentative Old Git


Englishing the Iliad: Grading Four Rival Translations – The New Yorker

A good way of getting a sense of the values and priorities of the Iliad’s many translators is to compare how they translate a given passage.

via Englishing the Iliad: Grading Four Rival Translations – The New Yorker (Oct. 31, 2011).

Daniel Mendelsohn shows how translators approach their task. Translators not only have to get the sense of the original right; they seek ways to preserve similar rhythms and sound effects. Here he compares a short passage from Homer’s Iliad, Book 13 as translated by Richard Lattimore (1951), Robert Fagles (1990), Stephen Mitchell (2011), and  Alexander Pope (1713).

I think the best approach for readers is to, whenever possible, read more than one translation. It will enhance your appreciation, giving a better composite image of the original.

Berryman: Tragedy & Comedy Together by Helen Vendler

Berryman: Tragedy & Comedy Together by Helen Vendler | The New York Review of Books. A healthy assessment of Berryman’s career and current status in American poetry


Andrew O’Hagan reviews ‘The Life of Saul Bellow’ by Zachary Leader · LRB 21 May 2015

Andrew O’Hagan reviews ‘The Life of Saul Bellow’ by Zachary Leader · LRB 21 May 2015.

Go Ask Alice – The New Yorker

Go Ask Alice – The New Yorker. Anthony Lane on what really went down in Wonderland. Off with her head

Review of Peter Mendelsund’s What We See When We Read

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

whatweseeBy Amy Reading

“Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.” So begins Middlemarch. Your eyes, as you read those seventeen words, seemed to glide over them linearly, your mind to effortlessly flash on the meaning behind each one. Perhaps you began to generate an image of Dorothea Brooke. But now that I’ve called attention to the way you read, you might be experiencing a hiccup in the process. What if I tell you that the average person reads four to five hundred words a minute? Are you now trying to read just a tiny bit faster? What if I say that we don’t read linearly, but that our eyes “saccade” back and forth across a text block, taking in ten to twelve letters at a time?

This “frantic career of the eyes,” as Proust called it, is the subject…

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