Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wisdom from Pasternak

Portrait of Boris Pasternak (Yuri Annenkov, 1921) / Image courtesy of WikiPaintings
“I believe, as do many others, that closeness to the original is not ensured only by literal exactness or by similarity of form: the likeness, as in a portrait, cannot be achieved without a lively and natural method of expression. As much as the author, the translator must confine himself to a vocabulary which is natural to him and avoid the literary artifice involved in stylization. Like the original text, the translation must create an impression of life and not of verbiage.” 
– Boris Pasternak (“Translating Shakespeare,” 1956, trans. M. Harari)

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