Nice Things Said Re: EWN

  • "Dan Wickett is serious about a good read. But the EWN email list doesn't just deliver his sure-footed reviews; it also brings you news and connections to other writers. Sign up now - he understands what readers want to know about books." Quinn Dalton, author, Bulletproof Girl
  • 1.
    "Mr. Wickett is that rarely heard from but best of all possible reviewers - the dedicated and knowledgeable fan. He writes clean-cutting and fresh reviews that represent a sensibility unspoiled by over-exposure to the biz of books, but deeply in love with them." Daniel Woodrell, author, Winter's Bone
  • 3.
    "Dan Wickett is a reader's best friend. Not only does he read and trenchantly review new work, but he looks back to books that deserve ongoing readership. I've lost track of the number of times he's led me to boks that I overlooked (or never knew about), and that were a delight. There aren't many reviewers I will let shape my library, but Dan Wickett is one." Erin McGraw, author, The Baby Tree

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Blog Nation

    • Book Blogs


    Author Websites

    « Interview 2005-024: David Karashima | Main | Support a Great LitBlog »

    June 26, 2005



    Czeslaw Milosz observed that poetry is what gets lost in translation. And in John Crowley's recent novel The Translator, the Russian poet being translated says to his counterpart that she is making new poems from his.

    But readers are right to wonder, even about prose. Some earlier thoughts of mine about translations of Henryk Sienkiewicz's Trilogy:

    By all means, buy this edition if it is your only way to enter the marvelous world that Sienkiewicz has given to Poland and to posterity. ...

    But beg or borrow if you can, and steal if you must, the translation by W.S. Kuniczak that was published in the early 1990s. Discover what happens when a novelist translates. ... And for readers not on intimate terms with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th Century (admit it), he effortlessly drops in helpful hints.

    Here's how Curtin starts:

    There was in Jmud a powerful family, the Billeviches, descended from Mendog, connected with many, and respected, beyond all, in the district of Rossyeni. ... Their native nest, existing to this day, was called Billeviche; ... In later times they branched out into a number of houses, the members of which lost sight of one another. They all assembled only when there was a census at Rossyeni of the general militia of Jmud on the plain of the invited Estates.

    And Kuniczak:

    In the part of the old Grand Duchy of Lithuania that was known as Zmudya, and which antedated the times of recorded history, there lived an ancient family named Billevitch, widely connected with many other houses of Lithuanian gentry, and respected more than any other in the Rosyen region. ... Their family seat, known as Billevitche ... so that in time they split into several branches that seldom saw each other. Some of them got together now and then when the Zmudyan gentry gathered for the annual military census near Rosyen on a plain called Stany...

    Honestly, which version would you rather spend 1700 pages with? The native nest or the family seat?

    Verify your Comment

    Previewing your Comment

    This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

    Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
    Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

    The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

    As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

    Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


    Post a comment

    Your Information

    (Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

    Best of the Web - Online Journals

    Blog powered by Typepad