Rediscovering Rilke

Reading Rilke

Finally got around to finishing reading William Gass’s Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation after starting it then putting it down for several years.  It opened up a whole new world of insight, not only on the problems of translation in general, but also on the poetry of Rilke.

A bonus feature is Gass’ own translations of “The Duino Elegies” which are enlightening and at times better than Stephen Mitchell’s translations, but Mitchell is a professional translator and Gass is not and this shows.

Two things I took away with me from the book: 1) an understanding that translations are not equal in quality–there are significant differences between them which can make the reading experience either enjoyable or painful, and 2) a greater appreciation and understanding of the poetry of Rilke.


About poeticmeditations

A 19th-century romantic poet living in the 21st-century. The Romantic poets, nib pens, candlelight, waistcoats, and pocket watches are a few of my favorite things.
This entry was posted in Books, Poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s