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26 May 2010

New fuel

I've neglected this blog and the work behind it recently, but today brought me two new books that ought to get me going. On the right, and following up on my last post is the collection of essays by ARG on the new novel. The immediate impression is of the lovely design. The covers are simple card with, as you can see, simple and authoritative typography. Inside, the text has what I guess is the original setting, with an unpretentious and so far timeless serif font. Also, ARG's prose is beautifully straightforward. I'm looking forward to reading this.

The second book in the Amazon package was The Translation Studies Reader, a collection of pieces dating from St Jerome onwards. Again, it's a beautifully produced book. A large format, and cleverly using serif for the essays, and sans for the commentaries. So far I've read the piece by St Jerome, which is surprisingly alive. He wrote in defence of his own translation practice in response to an attack. He went on to produce the standard Latin version of the Bible, so he's an important figure. The introduction to this section of the book says that St Augustine had an interesting view of translation. The septuagint, which was the Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures prepared in the third century BC, was, to him, more accurate than the Hebrew original, because it was divinely (re-)inspired. (As if God needed the opportunity to make some revisions.)

More comments on both these books will follow, you can be sure of that.

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