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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Arwin van Arum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 2 Dec 1998 21:02:42 +0100
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Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
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----- Original Message -----
From: Anita George <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 1998 5:34 PM
Subject: Re: Pound as Linguist
>Pound's Greek was actually much better than scholars give him
>credit for. I've spent the last two years working on his translation of
>Sophocles with a wealth of materials at my disposal (his Greek edition of
>Sophocles with his extensive notes on it, his Liddell and Scott,
>handwritten drafts, various typed manuscripts, etc.) and will be
>able to prove he had an adequate grasp of Greek. Not on the level
>of a classics scholar, but certainly equal to most undergraduate classics
>In his entire translation of the Elektra, for example, I found
>very few grammatical mistakes. In most cases, what looks like a
>mistake is a deliberate misreading. This is evident when one compares the
>early notes on the Elektra and the first draft with the later version. His
>first stab at the Greek is pretty literal and shows a good understanding
>of the language.
>In fact, I will argue that Pound was meticulous in his reading of the
>original, if loose in actual translation. If you look at his edition of
>Liddell and Scott (the Greek-English Lexicon), you'll find marginal
>notes in which Pound corrects the editors, indicating
>not only that he actually looked up the examples of specific words in
>other texts, but that he recognized in many cases that L & S made an
>error in citation (i.e. he knew that a certain word occured in Book 10 of
>Homer's Iliad, and not Book 4).
>This will be part of my book, ultimately, but I'm currently working it up
>into an article for separate publication.
>Anita George
>Department of English
>Yale University
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