Page 76 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 37

Basic HTML Version

6 8
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
responses. As Nida po in ted out, the American comic strip cha r­
acter Jiggs may well be fond o f corned bee f and cabbage in the
U.S. but, if he ’s going to make sense in Southeast Asia, he ’ll have
to eat rice and fish; and in Tu rkey it will have to be cabbage
stuffed with h am bu rge r .11 Thus , the acceptable American ren d i­
tion o f “yearn ing chan t” must become: “ . . . in a sad, sweet and
haun ting melody.”
Use o f the past passive participle
teluyim
(hung o r suspended) is
an excellent example o f the need to grasp a m ean ing which goes
beyond the obvious con ten t o f the word in the last sentence.
T h e re is embedded in this sentence a subtle m ean ing which the
translator has not conveyed.
What are we to do with the sentence? We ough t no t to d rop it in
despair. It does have a strong emotive value by means o f which
the au tho r conveys the feelings o f a ma tu re woman in retrospect.
We submit the following: “I was completely enchan ted by the
melody.” This is an example o f translating an en tire concept
ra th e r than ju s t a series o f words.
BRENNER’S NOVEL
In tu rn ing to the translation o f Yosef Haim B renn e r ’s novel
Shekhol ve’Khishalon12
we abandon the method h ithe r to used, tha t
o f exam ining the opening lines o f the first page. Relatively speak­
ing, this translation is more successful than the others. T h e tran s­
la tor’s introduc tion p repa res the reader more adequately than
the o the r translators have before plunging him into the time and
place o f the story. This is no t to say tha t it is all one would desire.
On the contrary, it is a b r ie f sketch, barely sufficient, om itting
much tha t needed to be said. T h e translation is generally sound
and footnotes do abound , appearing on some 80 ou t o f 310 pages.
O f the fou r translations h ithe rto considered, we note tha t two
have an introduc tion (Barash’s
Pictures
and Hazaz’
Gates),
one has
an appended T ran s la to r’s Note (Agnon’s
Canopy),
while one has
made do without any in troduc tion at all (Amichai’s
Not of this
Time).
Footnotes are rarely used. T h re e o f the translations have none
(Amichai, Barash, and Hazaz’
Gates)',
Agnon’s
Canopy
has a glos­
sary. Yet footnotes in a translated text are im po r tan t because, if
11 Op. cit., p. 5.
12 Yosef Haim Brenner,
Breakdown and Bereavement,
trans. Hillel Halkin (Ithaca:
1971).