Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Great Regulars: Imagine, for example, what the poor bastards

in Florence must be getting when an accomplished elder poet translates Shakespeare into his native Italian. Dante is the sort of poet whose superhuman talents once led Erich Auerbach, maybe the greatest literary critic of the 20th century, to spend 500 words parsing Dante's use of the words "Allor surse," which is a very nuanced, very beautiful way of saying "and then."

But [Clive] James, like Dante himself, is a trickster who's stolen something essential and life-giving from the dark, ensuring that commerce is occurring across the border between the sacred and the profane.

from Michael Lista: National Post: On Poetry: The Divine Comedy, translated by Clive James


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