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Daniel Pearlman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 29 May 1998 16:21:27 -0400
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Have I missed a couple of postings?  I don't know who this
Alexander is or who the Ker is that he quotes, but the Ker
quote seems naively anachronistic regarding the purpose of
Bible translation in pre-modern times.  The primary criterion
for early translators was faithfulness to God's *word*,
literally, and therefore style and often target-language
sense could go hang.  Remember the old story about the
seventy-five (I think) translators who were each set to
work independently to produce a translation into Greek
of the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch)?  The result
was that they all, without consulting with each other,
produced word for word the same translation of the
original Hebrew!!--proving, of course, the legitimacy of
the operation, and thus promoting ecclesiastical interests.
==Dan Pearlman
At 03:27 PM 5/29/98 -0400, you wrote:
>A quick note:
>An interesting  bit in "Ezra Pound's 'Seafarer'" that I found quite
>provocative was Alexander's cite of W. P. Ker regarding translation. In this
>particular case Ker says of Anglo-Saxon translators of the Bible:  "The
>fault of Bible versions was that they kept too close to the original.
>Instead of translating like free men they construed word for word, like the
>illiterate in all ages."
>The focus of my interest is the use of the word 'illiterate' in the context
>of this passage.  Since I'm a novice and really unaware of Ker, what
>impressions or insights can any of you provide?  I mean, who exactly are the
>'illiterate' (in your view)?
>Other items written by Ker?
Dan Pearlman                    Office: Department of English
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