Memoirs of a Translator of Poetry

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Asylum Arts, Jan 1, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 71 pages
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Cultural Writing. Memoir. After retiring from a career as a professor of Foreign Languages at the United States Naval Academy in 1976, Kendall Lappin began translating poetry from French. Quickly abandoning the academic practice of 'poetic re-creation, ' Lappin side-stepped rhyme in favor of rendering the essential rhythm and overall semantic quality of the poem. Containing both Lappin's autobiographical narrative and exerpts from his personal correspondence, this volume portrays the rocky career of a maverick literary translator. Through it all, Lappin continues to argue that a translator need not be a poet to produce faithful translations of poetry. We translators must render adequately the music of each poem, as well as its message-- Kendall Lappin

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About the author (1999)

After retiring forma career as a professor of Foreign Languages at the United States Naval Academy in 1976, Kendall Lappin began translating poetry form the French. His intuition and initial experiments translating poems by the great symbolist Charles Baudelaire quickly led him to abandon rhyme in favor of rendering the essential rhythm an overall semantic quality of the poems-an approach that goes against the prevailing theory an academic practice of "poetic re-creation." Containing both Lappin's autobiographical narrative and excerpts for his personal correspondence, this volume portrays the rocky career of a maverick literary translator. Through it all, Lappin continues to argue that a translator need not himself be a poet to produce faithful translations of poetry.

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