Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Flowers and Translation

I always think that quotes about translation and metaphors for translation are interesting. The following one from A Defense of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelley is pretty well known.

"It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its color and odor, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower – and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel."

Of course, seeds from one part of the world can be planted and successfully nurtured in other parts.

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