On Sun, 17 Jun 2012 18:49:12 -0400, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Thanks for this. I've seen all but the line from The Spirit of Romance. I'm
not sure--since this is Pound--how it clears up whatever disagreement Carrol
referred to, however. Do you see it as about the structuring of the poem,
the editing, or a very high compliment to Pound as Poet? What alternative
translations are there, for example? I need to get a recent, more definitive
copy of The Divine Comedy I think. Does Eliot say what he used along with
his own self-teaching in Italian, and is that the way it is translated? I've
forgotten which translation he worked with and clearly have to go back to
I'll have to get to most of your questions latter but here is what I have now.
I have a three volume set of The Divine Comedy published by J.M. Dent & Sons
that is a Temple Classics edition. It is undated but it carries a note on
editorial content with the date 1901 and says that the Inferno and Paradiso
were published first. The translator of the Purgurtorio was Thomas Okey.
This edition has Italian on the left page facing the English translation on
the right. It is pocketable, 4x6 inches, so I think it likely that it is
the version that Eliot had at Harvard. See "T.S. Eliot: The Making Of An
American Poet, 1888-1922" by James E. Miller Jr., page 435.
In the Purgatorio, Canto 26, Dante the poet has Dante the pilgrim praising
Guido Guinicelli who then points out Arnault Daniel. Here is Okey using
"better craftsman" in his translation:
"O brother," said he, "this one whom I distinguish to thee
with my finger" (and he pointed to a spirit in front)
"was a better craftsman of the mother-tongue.
[fu miglior fabbro del parlar materno]
"In verses of love, and prose tales of romance, all he surpassed," ...
Initially I would take "miglior" in context to mean "better" (a comparison
between Guinicelli and Daniel) but very quickly the comparison takes in
everyone so "best" might be better :-) At any rate both Okey and Pound used
"better craftsman" (Pound in "The Spirit of Romance.")