Regarding Inferno canto XV: It seems that in various commercially
available translations of Dante, there is not much consensus on how to handle the
"dusk/evening" translation, nor is there consistency in the amount of "sexual
charge" to the passage. Some translators used gender-neutral words like
"passersby" or "people" rather than saying "men". Are these good translations, or is
the use of gender-neutral language for canto XV an example of political
correctness obscuring Dante's meaning regarding the encounter with the sodomites?
So that you can see a sample of the range of translations for yourself, I
went to a Barnes and Noble bookstore this weekend and copied these
translations for lines 16-19,
quando incontrammo d'anime una schiera 16
che venžan lungo l'argine, e ciascuna
ci riguardava come suol da sera
guardare uno altro sotto nuova luna; 19
"Here we met a troop of souls coming up along the bank, and each gazed at us
as men at dusk will sometimes do, eyeing one another under the new moon."
Robert Hollendar and Jean Hollendar
"And each was gazing at us as in the evening people gaze at one another under
a new moon."
"We encountered another troop of souls who looked at us the way that men will
look at one another at dusk when daylight fails under a new moon."
"We saw a troop of souls come hurrying towards us beside the bank, and each
of them looked us up and down, as some men will look at other men at night when
the moon is new."
"They stared at us as men at evening by the new moon's light stare at one
another when they pass by on a dark road."
"A troop of souls met us who eyed us much as passersby eye one another when
the daylight fades to dusk and a new moon is in the sky."
Dorothy L. Sayers
-- Steve --