Sundays with Silva: On Translation and Long Apostolic Sentences

Bouncing into Graceland

In the most recent installment of Mondays with Moisés, we saw our Infallible Hero state, in what at first blush might seem like a throwaway comment, that since “the message communicates more clearly” in translations of modern literature which sound “as though they had originally been written in English” (with due allowance for the original context), “one can argue that they are more accurate than literal renderings would be.” Yet the careful reader will immediately note that his use of “one can argue” here practically demands some sort of qualification for this statement. One such qualification, it seems to me, relates to the use of “insider language,” as I suggested in my recent rejoinder to the much-missed Lingamish.  Another, as I argued many years ago in another such discussion, is the notion that a literarily sensitive translation “will not be complicated where the original is not, and by…

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