The Enfant Terrible of Literature
new life and one that is instinct (as far as I can effect this)
with the spirit though not the form of the original.
They say no woman could possibly have written the Odyssey.
To me, on the other hand, it seems even less possible that a
man could have done so. As for its being by a. practised and
elderly writer, nothing but youth and inexperience could
produce anything so nai've and so lovely. That is where
the work will suffer by my translation. I am male, practised
and elderly, and the trail of sex, age and experience is certain
to be over my translation. If the poem is ever to he well
translated, it must be by some high-spirited English girl
who has been brought up at Athens and who, therefore, has
not been jaded by academic study of the language.
A translation is at best a dislocation, a translation from
verse to prose is a double dislocation and corresponding
further dislocations are necessary if an effect, of deformity
is to be avoided.
The people who, when they read "Athene" translated
by " Minerva," cannot bear in mind that every Athene
varies more or less with, and takes colour from, the country
and temperament of the writer who is being translated, will
not be greatly helped by translating " Athene " and not
" Minerva." Besides many readers would pronounce the
word as a dissyllable or an anapmst.
The Odyssey and a Tomb at Carcassonne
There is a tomb at some place in France, I think at Car-
cassonne, on which there is some sculpture representing the
friends and relations of the deceased in paroxysms of grief
with their cheeks all cracked, and crying like Guudemio's
angels on the Sacro Monte at Varallo-Sesia. Round the
corner, however, just out of sight till one searches, there is
a man holding both his sides and splitting with laughter.
In some parts of the Odyssey, especially about Ulysses and
Penelope, I fancy that laughing man as being round the
corner. [Oct. 1891,]
Getting it Wrong
Zefiirino Carestia, a sculptor, told me we had a great
sculptor in England named Simpson. I demurred, and