Flaubert’s famous novel enjoys a greater following in the U.S. these days than in France.
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Many translators besides Hopkins and Steegmuller have added their own layers of style and meaning, and several have toned down the references to illicit sex.
One edition, however, a Penguin paperback of 1992, actually spiced up a steamy scene describing eye contact (yes, that was also pushing it in 1857) between Emma and her future lover Leon. Flaubert daintily describes their excited thoughts as comme deux poitrines palpitantes. Mrs. Davis soberly renders this as “like two trembling hearts.” The Penguin translator, Geoffrey Wall, also a Flaubert biographer, went considerably further and made it “like two tremulously naked bodies.” In another passage, Flaubert uses the English word “Yes” in a passage of dialogue. Wall renders it as “Jawohl.”
Ms. Calabria remains perplexed by all the American fuss over Madame Bovary. French literature of the 19th century, she notes, is a rich pool of talent, including Balzac, Baudelaire, Maupassant, Victor Hugo and Stendhal. “We still read them all, so we could never devote the time you do to Madame Bovary.”
“Why do you keep translating it?” she wonders.
Lydia Davis’s “definitive” version just might bring about a pause in the translation frenzy.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online