Dear JP,

Simplicity is not simplistic.  And in any case, the complexities of 
translation and the loss intrinsic to all translation is not simple.  I think you 
are quite right.

Date sent:      	Mon, 23 Jul 2001 10:17:18 -0500
Send reply to:  	[log in to unmask]
From:           	"Earls, JP" <[log in to unmask]>
To:             	<[log in to unmask]>
Subject:        	RE: Puns and the point


I take a rather simplistic view of Eliot's keeping the original
languages for certain quotes.  They resonated deeply with him.  "Mein
Irisch Kind, / Wo weilest du?"  carried, for him, the "objective
correlative" of his emotional tone (associated with the music, perhaps)
and a translation simply would not do.  (That he might also have valued
the gender ambiguity in the German is another question.) "Oed und leer das
Meer" certainly carries a hollowness of tonality (forgive me, I search for
the _mot juste_!) that "The sea is wide and empty" does not. For me,  the
final scene in _Parsifal_, with the voices of the children reaching above
the other voices is a transcendent moment.  How to capture that in the
original, since, as I remember, the children's voices are only mentioned
in the stage directions?  Use the French poem, with resonances Eliot may
have associated with the opera.  As I said, it is simplistic.

J. P. Earls, OSB
English Department
St. John's University
Collegeville, MN 56321
Ph. 320-363-2705
Email: [log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Morse [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2001 7:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Puns and the point

Still, is there an "accepted" rationale or interpretation for line 202 of
"The Waste Land" being stolen, or expropriated, from Verlaine's poem and

kept in French rather translating it to English? If the poem is
to allude to something with that line, an English translation of the
would maintain that allusion, wouldn't it? But keeping the line in
allows for the pun "voix" to make that allusion more ambiguous, if not
humourous. Ambiguity certainly seems to be the lifeblood of "The Waste

Still curious,

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