Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Heine in the Bronx, Nabokov in the Doghouse

David, a Reader of My Blog, pointed out an article in today's New York Times reviewing a new Heine translation. Oh happy day. It's an affectionate look at Travel Pictures, translated by Peter Wortsman. And apparently, Heine has his very own presence in New York:

After his death, a statue of Heine was offered to Düsseldorf. Nationalist sentiment caused it to be rejected. German-Americans then donated it to New York to be placed by Central Park. It was pronounced aesthetically inferior (this has always been a hard place to crack the art scene), and it stands now in the Bronx.

There's now no shortage of Heine statues in Germany, the country that once kept him awake at night.

Oh, and Nicholas Lezard talks about Ernst Weiss' Franziska in Anthea Bell's translation in last Saturday's Guardian. I don't know it, but Lezard rather likes it. He closes the piece:

As for the translation, Nabokov once remarked that a translator had to be (a) good at the language being translated from, (b) extremely good at the language being translated into, and (c) a man. Anthea Bell's entire career, and this translation no less, show that as far as point (c) goes, Nabokov was talking rubbish.

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