Don Quixote translated by Edith Grossman

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Don Quixote translated by Edith Grossman

maaliskuu 6, 2022, 2:19 pm

Hello Devotees,

Anyone have word on whether Folio Society plans to publish Don Quixote with the Edith Grossman translation? I’ve heard it’s far, far, superior to the others.

Given folio’s excellent work with recent translations of Beowulf, Montaigne’s Essays and others, I would hope this is a project they are seriously considering.

Take care,

maaliskuu 6, 2022, 2:50 pm

>1 Evelyn2108: Grossman's is probably my favorite, but I would not say it is "far, far" superior, personally speaking. I find Ormsby (at least) to be readable, well done, and in the same league.

I've also heard good things about Raffel's translation, and it is recent. I haven't read it, but I have enjoyed his translations of Stendhal.

Regarding Folio plans, I don't think there is anything specific on this front, and they tend to be rather tight lipped about plans with pretty rare exceptions.

Back to the Grossman translation, you might also be interested to know that there is an unabridged audiobook edition wonderfully read by George Guidall. I listened to it through Audible in my jurisdiction. Also worth checking your local public library for a recording. If you like this translation, it is worth hearing.

maaliskuu 6, 2022, 10:35 pm

Oh thank you so much for the audiobook recommendation. My Library has the Guidall on hoopla and I’ve just checked it out.

I’ll have a look at the other translations you’ve mentioned and then I’ll figure out which one I want to add to my library.

Wonderful! This has been on my to read list for a long time.

maaliskuu 21, 1:24 pm

Easton Press has just published the Grossman translation in a limited edition:

maaliskuu 21, 1:36 pm

>4 jroger1: I do wish FS would put out a Grossman translation. That Smollett is rather stale.

maaliskuu 22, 12:10 pm

Agreed - I will immediately purchase a copy of the Grossman translation if FS ever publishes, either in LE (preferred) or standard (though a “fine” edition like Montaigne’s Essays or Beowulf would be very, very welcome). The Grossman translation is absolutely outstanding.

maaliskuu 22, 6:49 pm

I've got the Cohen translation of DQ, (re) published by Franklin Library. A lovely edition, but upon reading some reviews of the Cohen translation, I may have to seek out the Grossman.

I have long known translations are very important, but for some reason haven't paid it much mind until recently. And when I think back to better reading experiences of foreign language texts in translation, it's always made the difference.

I remember reading a Wordsworth Classics version of Madame Bovary - and the dialogue was full of twee English idioms - really weird. Anyway, putting my ignorance aside...

maaliskuu 22, 7:37 pm

Arion Press did a beautiful two-volume edition of the Grossman translation. It's on my wishlist. Given how rarely it appears on the secondary market and its price when it does appear, however, I know that it'll be a long time before it sits on my bookshelves.

maaliskuu 22, 8:39 pm

>4 jroger1: Easton Press has just published the Grossman translation in a limited edition:
I've never been a fan of Easton Press books, but that is particularly hideous, although the internal artwork looks OK.

>5 L.Bloom: I do wish FS would put out a Grossman translation. That Smollett is rather stale.
I started with the Grossman translation, but have to say I found it too 'modern' for my taste. I tried out the Smollett, and am enjoying the language far more.

maaliskuu 22, 10:20 pm

>9 Willoyd:

Haha, particularly hideous is good. I like their period piece type deluxe editions or at least their attempt at a facsimile, such as Historie of the Holy Warre or the Twain books. They love butchering their creative bindings by attempting to keep them amongst their bread and butter.

maaliskuu 23, 4:23 am

>9 Willoyd: That is awful. The fact they have troubled to put "Signed Edition" on the spine is revealing of the mindset they are catering for.

maaliskuu 23, 11:45 am

>11 ian_curtin: To be fair, though, if they have managed to get Cervantes to sign them I think that is worth boasting about ;>)

maaliskuu 23, 3:48 pm

>9 Willoyd: “I started with the Grossman translation, but have to say I found it too 'modern' for my taste.”

Hers is not a word-for-word translation. She writes in her trade edition: “I believe that my primary obligation as a literary translator is to recreate for the reader in English the experience of the reader in Spanish … When Cervantes wrote Don Quixote, his language was not archaic or quaint. He wrote in crackling, up-to-date Spanish that was an intrinsic part of his time … That meant that I did not need to find a special, anachronistic, somehow-seventeenth-century voice but could translate his astonishingly fine writing into contemporary English.”

maaliskuu 24, 11:03 am

>13 jroger1:

And of course she could, but it's still for individual readers to discover whether a 17th century Spanish author addresses them to best effect in current English or through the medium of a 17th (or 18th, or 19th...) century translation.

maaliskuu 24, 1:10 pm

>13 jroger1: I find this a slightly strange justification. When she says she wanted "to recreate for the reader in English the experience of the reader in Spanish", she presumably means "the seventeenth-century reader in Spanish", rather than "the modern reader in Spanish". Which is fair enough, but that's not generally how we experience books. Except where the text is so old that its age actually makes understanding very difficult (e.g. Chaucer), when reading books written in our own language we generally read them as written (or maybe with some minor changes to spelling etc), even though that gives them an archaic feeling that would not have been experienced by the original reader. Most people appreciate this rather than cursing it. We don't read Pride & Prejudice "modernised" to sound as though it were written last week, nor would most people want to. So why would we want to read Don Quixote in that way? Obviously some may wish to do so - as >14 terebinth: says, each to their own. But for her to suggest that her "primary obligation" is to make this happen strikes me as an odd way to look at it.

maaliskuu 24, 2:06 pm

>15 PeterFitzGerald:
I think there is a difference between reading a classic in your native language and a translated one. We English-speakers have grown up reading all kinds of English literature from the last few centuries so that we feel comfortable with it. We understand the cultural context reasonably well as well as the development of our language over time. But if I were a native Spanish speaker, I would prefer to read Pride and Prejudice in a modern idiom just as Jane Austen’s original audience did. I understand that other readers might have a different opinion.

I also wonder how any translator, no matter how skilled, could translate dialect-based fiction, such as Twain’s Mississippi writings, and impart the same feeling that an English-speaker gets from reading the original. But that’s a different issue.

maaliskuu 24, 2:54 pm

>16 jroger1: I agree with this. Reading a translation in an archaic language does not add to the experience for me. Ovid, Dante, Cervantes etc. are not improved by seeking out the earliest English translation I can find so I can get closer to the period in which the work was written.

It is well known that English has undergone vastly more change over the last few centuries than Spanish has so it's not as if we are getting the Spanish translation of Cervantes day through Smollett. We also know that Smollett himself took liberty with his translation (presumably to appeal to his own audience at the time) so accuracy is also not a great reason to go there.

For my part I find Smollett to be seemingly intentionally archaic. Reading contemporary work of the period proves this for me. Sterne for example, is delightful and easy to read.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 31, 5:50 pm

>13 jroger1:
Yes, I read that, and for me it made little sense. However, that's one of the pluses about having multiple translations - one has the choice - and I just prefer the Smollett older style to Grossman's modern style for this 17th century work, but I'm delighted it has worked for others (although I'm currently enjoying dipping into the Rutherford translation for Penguin, and may land up with that).. This was just a case of preference and degree, not like my experience with Les Miserables, where I found the much-praised Rose translation personally nigh on unreadable!

huhtikuu 1, 12:53 pm

I can assure you that Cervantes is full of dialect and class-registered Spanish. It’s part of the joke inherent in the work. While it’s been a very long time since I’ve looked at translations, if Grossman managed to capture this, or even tried to, that’s a start. I don’t recall older translations managing this, but I’m happy to be corrected.

huhtikuu 1, 1:50 pm

>19 cwl:
I know absolutely nothing about the Spanish, but several reviewers comment that the Rutherford translation for Penguin Classics manages to do exactly that.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 10:43 pm

>19 cwl:
I read in reviews a criticism of Grossman's choice of source text. It might not amount to much practically, but I believe Cervantes scholars were very critical of her decision. So I chose the Rutherford translation to read instead. See . The article author, Lathrop eventually produced his own translation.