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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Saturday, August 24, 2002
Update on my post below : Paola agrees with Oriana's book translator:
"The rage and the pride" versus "War and Peace"...even in Italian it was translated into "Guerra e Pace", not "La Guerra e La Pace"...I actually think that the article "the" helps define the emotions as Oriana's and connects them to the events. She is not describing the emotions abstractly, she is specifically referring to events that have aroused those very emotions in her. Those are the very emotions that she wants to instill in us. They are specific.

She's right, of course. This is a specific instantiation. I was following my ear, not my head.

As long as I'm at it, I should confess another error I realized some time ago. In the antisemitism piece. The line I translated as "In hell the Nobel prize honors he who does not receive it" should actually read more like, "To hell with the Nobel prize and praised be he who does not receive it." There was no accent over that "e", I just somehow inferred one in my mind. Luckily I didn't change the underlying meaning much--just the form of the insult.

UPDATE: After writing the above, I happened to receive the following message from an Italian reader (of the translation, not this blog):
I recently happened to read your translations as appearing in your website dated December 19, 2001, including your following messages dated April 2002.

First of all, my opninion is that your translation is far better and more comprehensible to U.S. people than the official one. You have used expressions which I can quickly recognize as typical American and do not make use of literal translations of Italian phrases and syntax, albeit giving a true rendering of the author's meaning.

Given the fact that there are many roads leading to Rome, as an old Italian "adagio" says, you have selected the best route for Americans to understand easily and fully Oriana's extraordinary book and her message to the world. Without the typical pitfalls made even by the most qualified Italian translators. It's a pity you could not complete the authorized translation of the entire book.

I don't know what "official" translation he's talking about, as I never saw one of the article. I certainly hope the book translation doesn't suffer from the pitfalls he's talking about, and am pretty confident that it won't. It's not like this is the first book of hers to be published in English.

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