Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001571, Wed, 18 Dec 1996 08:41:00 -0800

Re: nabokoviana (fwd)
From: Ian & Laurie Stoba <stoba@earthlink.net>

>Allan McWilliams wrote:

"December 8th's New York Times Book Review has an essay entitled "What's Gained
in Translation" in which the author, Douglas Hofstadter compares four English
translations of "Eugene Onegin." Hofstadter, "director of the Center for
>Research on Concepts and Cognition and a professor of comparative literature at
>Indiana U.," compares the translations of Charles Johnston, James Falen, Oliver
>Elton and Walter Arndt. "Actually," he adds, "there is a fifth English version
>still in print, this one done by Vladimir Nabokov in 1964--but for his own
>strange reasons, he chose to do a literal translation that dropped all rhyme
>and meter, a decision so catastrophic that I won't deal further with the
>Nabokov 'Onegin' here."

Presumably this Douglas Hofstadter is the same Douglas R. Hofstadter who
won a special Pulitzer Prize for his first book _Godel, Escher, Bach: an
Eternal Golden Braid_? Hofstadter's most recent book _Fluid Concepts and
Creative Analogies_ (1995) lists him as the director of the Fluid Analogies
Research Group in Bloomington, Indiana. In the book he goes to some pains
to say that he is not officially affiliated with Indiana U.

During his years there he was professor of Computer Science specializing in
artificial intelligence. He spent a few years teaching humanities at
another school before returning to Bloomington to found FARG.

He is bilingual in French with a working knowledge of Cantonese if memory
serves me correctly. He is very interested in translation and has written
on the subject, but as far as I know he has no Russian.

Ian Stoba