Jean and Robert Hollander have just come out with the last installment of their translation of the Divine Comedy. The release of the final canticle of the Hollanders' triad is discussed in this week's New Yorker. Jean Hollander deals with the verse in the pair's translations, and Robert, ostensibly with the accuracy of the translations, thus answering what some see as a devil and the deep blue sea conundrum about translation: poetry or meaning? Both, preferably, seems to be the Hollanders' answer. One of the main problems with translating the Commedia into English in the past has been the constraints of the English terza rima. Jean Hollander has done away with this stumbling block by adopting blank verse for the text, and I'm certainly very eager to pick up a copy of the set and take a look at the results myself.
Published Aug 30, 2007 Copyright 2007 Rohan Kamicheril