Dagger in hand

A man of prodigious fortune, coming to add his opinion to some light discussion that was going on casually at his table, began precisely thus: "It can only be a liar or an ignoramus who will say otherwise than," and so on. Pursue that philosophical point, dagger in hand.

--Michel de Montaigne, Of the art of discussion.

Stab back: cmnewman99-at-yahoo.com


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Monday, August 19, 2002

I hope the translation does her justice. All I can see now is the title, and I already have issues. I can see "rage" for "rabbia" --it's a more powerful word (though I did have specific reasons for using "anger" based on the way it plays in the opening lines) -- but I'm not sure I get why they used the articles. In Italian you use articles in many places where you wouldn't in English. In English we use them only when we're referring to a specific instantiation of a universal. So to me they sound stilted in the title, and I'm not sure what they add in the way of meaning. I mean, think of War and Peace. Fear and Trembling. (On the other hand, I suppose there's The Sorrow and The Pity.) You know, I can see already that I'm going to have to chill. I've got a quasi-authorial investment in this, even though I have absolutely no right to. That's what happens when you spend that much time and energy engaged in a translation. Even though I'm sure I made mistakes and there are numerous ways what I did could be improved upon. So I'm just going to have to trust that they got someone who knows what they're doing, and that Oriana will have made sure that it reads the way she wants it to. And if it's not the way I think it should read, that just shows that I was injecting too much of myself into my translation. Right now it's at 4,275 on amazon, and it's not available yet. They're taking pre-orders. I think I'll send a message to Instapundit and see what happens to that number when he posts about it.

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