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  #11  
Old 04-20-2018, 09:08 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Perhaps I did not make clear in my comments on "monument" that what I like about it is how many different things the word can suggest, versus the one thing that "victory stele" suggests. I grew up near the Washington Monument, so the idea of a massive structure to glorify someone was definitely in my head. My guideline in translating is that it is better to use a word with multiple meanings, if those meanings are relevant, than one that forces you to choose just one. Something is always lost, but you want to lose as little as possible.

Susan
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2018, 09:47 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Draft 3 is pretty good.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2018, 02:30 AM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Fourth draft posted above. Thanks to everyone who kept me working on this.

Edward, I've restored the L2 "Rome in Rome" and eliminated the repetition of "time" in L7. I think "ruled" implies "laws," although I see what you mean about the implied rigidity of "laws," and why that would be attractive to keep, given the theme. I've gone reluctantly with "time, which swallows all" in L8 for now, but may go back to an earlier draft's "time, that all-devourer" or "time, that omnivore," although that diction seems a mismatch with du Bellay's simplicity. And I've reluctantly gone back to "worldly" for "mondaine," since "universal" is metrically infelicitous. I've tried "slips away to sea" for the Tiber, to make it a bit more sneaky and ignoble in a battle context.

Andrew, I've chucked the enjambment on "you / behold," and have squeezed that three-syllable space-hog "palaces" back in. Thanks for the encouragement. You're the closest thing to a Roman I've got, so I'm particularly glad to have your opinion.

John, thanks for your vote of confidence on my more specific interpretation of "monument."

Susan, I find your argument about ambiguity's role in poetry very compelling. Still, my gut tells me that du Bellay had the Arch of Titus, with its friezes of the pillaged spoils of Jerusalem, in mind as he looked around at the remains of a fallen Rome.

I feel that the Washington Monument is only superficially modeled on the sort of foreign spoils that a sacked Egyptian obelisk (or the Arch of Titus's depiction of spoils) would have represented to ancient Romans. It's actually quite different. Yes, the Washington Monument honors the memory of a deceased general, but it doesn't celebrate an empire's material gains from having conquered and pillaged other civilizations' wealth. (The United States did indeed go on to do that, but not under Washington's leadership.)

You are right that the word "monument" is much more open-ended than my reading, and that by translating it this way I am perhaps unfairly denying the reader a legitimate reading that is more of the memorial sort. But on the other hand, the cultural connotations of the word "monument" have changed substantially since du Bellay used it, and I don't want to deny the modern reader an understanding of what I think du Bellay primarily meant. I know that you are sensitive in your own translations to the need to translate between times as well as between languages. I'm not 100% sure that this is one of those point-the-reader-to-a-particular-reading occasions, but after much consideration of your well-expressed thoughts on this, my intuition is still leaning in the same direction as before. A little more insecurely, though.

Thanks, Allen. I'm pretty pleased that you enjoyed Draft 3. Now that I've changed a bunch of stuff in Draft 4, I hope I haven't changed too much that you liked.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 04-22-2018 at 02:37 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2018, 03:50 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi Julie,

I think this is moving along. I might go with "Rome is" in this line, for the meter: "Rome’s Rome’s triumph-frieze—the only one," and at the end, frankly I hesitate about "knocks," though I have no suggestion. I am glad you've not gone with "omnivore," which I think falls into the error of out-clevering the original, and at the start, where "You new" jars on my ear, I wonder about "New tourist." It's modern, but I think it's what Du Bellay means.
OK, that's all my immediate suggestions/thoughts.

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2018, 08:24 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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I second John's suggestion that "Rome is Rome's triumph-frieze" would make that line clearer. There is room for lots of different interpretations of famous works of poetry. I tend to look for a word as close as possible to the same register as the original, not more specific, but that does sometimes mean blander. There is nothing wrong with a translation that leads readers to the translator's interpretation of the original instead of leaving the reader to figure out which meaning of the word the original poet intended. Ambiguous words are open to misinterpretation, too.

Susan
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2018, 12:49 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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I like III better. IV seems flat, bland, even forgettable ("okay, what's on the next page?"). III has some bite.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2018, 08:19 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I like Draft Four a lot. The octave works great, as far as I'm concerned.

Only the first line of the sestet feels off -- "Rome's Rome's" is very clumsy. Could you have

The triumph-frieze of Rome is Rome—just one

?
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  #18  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:22 AM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Thanks for your thoughts, John, Susan, Allen, and Andrew. Extensive changes posted above in Draft Five, to address most of your complaints about Draft Four.
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  #19  
Old 05-18-2018, 02:01 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Much better, though I haven't really compared them. In stanza One, either "tourist" or "find" needs a final "s".
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  #20  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:10 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Okay, I want to keep the second-person address, and "New tourist" seems to make it harder to see that "find" is being addressed to a "you." New LL1-2 above.

Also, "tourist" seems too modern in comparison with the way the first of the two Spanish versions is going to handle that bit. Thanks, Allen.
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