Saturday, October 13, 2007

An Erotic Relationship

In today’s Writer’s Almanac, the following information was included about the prolific translator Richard Howard. I like his quote about the eroticism of translation:

It’s the birthday of the poet and translator Richard Howard, born in Cleveland, Ohio (1929), who started out as a poet and won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his book Untitled Subjects (1969). His collection Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963–2003 came out in 2004. But he’s also known for his translations — more than 150 books, most of them from the French, including The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire, which won Howard a National Book Award for translation in 1984. He said, “The relationship of the translator to the writer is an erotic relationship always, and you learn something about the person that you’re working with in an almost plastic, physical way that you can almost never learn about your friends.”

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