Borges / Belitt

24Set10

Make me macho and gaucho and skinny

«If Borges had had his way—and he generally did—all polysyllables would have been replaced [in English translation] by monosyllables. … People concerned about the legitimacy of the literal might well be scandalized by his mania for dehispanizaton. … “Simplify me. Modify me. Make me stark. My language often embarasses me. It’s too youthful, too Latinate. I love Anglo-Saxon. I want the wiry, minimal sound. I want monosyllables.  I want the power of Cynewulf, Beowulf, Bede. Make me macho and gaucho and skinny.”»

Ben Belitt, intervistato da Edwin Honig in The Poet’s Other Voice. Conversations on Literary Translation, Universtiy of Massachusett’s Press, 1985, p. 62. Citato in Robert Wechsler, Performing Without a Stage. The Art of Literary Translation, Catbird Press, North Haven (CT), 1998, p. 101.

Ben Belitt (1911-2003) era poeta. È stato il traduttore americano di Borges, Neruda, Guillén e Lorca.



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