On New Translations

I recently finished reading the newest translation of Madame Bovary. A Julian Barnes article on translation made me wonder at the recent hype, and this piece on translated works at Boston.com articulated the question that had been nagging at me:

We have been imbibing “Bovary,’’ “Zhivago,’’ “War and Peace,’’ and a host of other classics quite peaceably for decades. Is it possible that the lust for lucre, rather than the luster of literary merit, drives this rush to push new/old product onto the shelves?

Certainly the “new!” aspect of it makes it seem more desirable, and gets more press. But I’m now suspicious, and wondering if I haven’t been duped. Link from Blog of a Bookslut.

One Response to “On New Translations”

  1. Amy Says:

    Hmmm. Interesting thought. It doesn’t seem like the Zhivago edition is getting quite the raves the Bovary got. Is it Lucre, or the challenge on the part of the translator, or both?