Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020629, Sat, 28 Aug 2010 16:32:29 -0300

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] PF and Burton and stars
SB: "I'm particularly intrigued that Richard Burton's translations have come up, since I offered his translation of Catullus as one possible source of the phrase "light of my life" in the latest Nabokovian--although I preferred Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella in the end."

JM: Just to report a coincidence, it's such a Nabokovian thing after all. A grandkid was watching Walt Disney's movie "Bolt" ( spoken in Portuguese) and, when I popped my head in to call her for lunch, at the exact moment, I heard the sentence: "luz da minha vida" ( light of my life).
When I later tried to check the original in English (using the internet)the exclamation was different: "I have a little girl at home, love of my life." So, the coincidence was only valid for Brazilian ears! Perhaps the word "love" was transformed into "luz" (light) following an "euphonic" caprice, although its rendering could be considered of the same order of "reality" as Shade's forthcoming manuscripted cards...

G. Shafiee: "One needs only to read a few pages of Burton's translation to see the parasitical relationship of the author to the host text. Like Kinbote, Burton tries to control the reader's response through insistent reminders of his views at the foot of nearly every page."

JM: I cannot now find the source in which I read that it was Dante Alighieri who first made it into a habit to annotate his poems to control the reader's response. I only remembered this item because (for a very short while) I entertained the hypothesis that Kinbote might have been fashioned after Dante ( Are there any Dante scholars in the room?)

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