Problems and Possibilities in the Translation of the Classics Page: I
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So why a new translation of Aristotle? Considering the
great number of English renderings already extant, one wonders
whether the question most translators put to themselves is not
rather, "Why not a new translation?" As unscholarly as such a
flippant attitude may seem, I would not discourage it; for the
phrase "definitive translation" is as fanciful as any bandied
about in academic circles. A new translation of any work, even
if it is produced on a whim, is almost certain to be superior, in
at least one respect, to the best translation preceding it. That
superiority may lurk in a single word, or hinge on the division
of a paragraph. It is the height of folly to think that a
Lattimore or a Fitzgerald cannot be improved upon. Homer is
doubtless an improvement on both. There is always a rift in
quality between a great literary work and any given translation
of it. And though the walls on either side of that rift can
never be made flush, the distance between them can always be
narrowed. But even if an ambitious high school student with a
little Greek under his belt were to translate the entire Iliad
without improving upon Lattimore'b version in the slightest
detail, his work would not have been in vain: At the very least,
he would have honed his translating Bkill for later projects.
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Reference the current page of this Thesis Or Dissertation.
Davis, Mike Lee. Problems and Possibilities in the Translation of the Classics, thesis or dissertation, Autumn 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc146413/m1/2/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Honors College.