Friday, November 13, 2009

Pritchard on Gass on Rilke

William H. Gass, again in Reading Rilke, writes, “translating is reading, reading of the best, the most essential, kind,” and that a translator must find the poem that the poet “would have written had he been English.” Held against these standards, Snow’s translations in The Poetry of Rilke are largely a success. He transforms the originals into a fluent English — mostly eschewing archaism and ornamentation.
[from the new issue of The Critical Flame]