All posts tagged: Dante

A Late Winter Reading List: Poet Diana Khoi Nguyen Curls Up with Prose

Greetings, poets + persons of poetic constitution. It’s me, Diana Khoi Nguyen. As a peddler + dabbler/dribbler/lover of poetry, and as earthling, I’ve always wondered about what others (like me and not like me) are reading. As much as I hate/guilty-pleasure-love lists (especially lists of poetry ilk), I am constantly starving to find the next life-altering/favorite-book-of-all-time. Sure, as a poet, I’ve had hundreds of poetry collections recommended to me–and many of these have been especially instrumental to my poet/human-development, but there’s something I discovered within the past 14 months: my brain is wildly stimulated in strange and wondrous ways when I read life-altering fiction and non-fiction. This is where I will admit that I don’t see myself as a well-read person. But I am a lover of books. And I’d like to share with lovers of poetry–some meaningful works of prose that I’ve been reading/read recently. I hope you don’t mind. My hope is that: I can share a book, author, feelings with you that might lead you also to experience feelings. I hope I’m able to bring …

Afterwords // Deep Circles: Mary Jo Bang Talks Translation at Hugo House

It is not that Bang rejects the challenges and responsibilities typically associated with translation, for even as she radically questions and suspends many long-held assumptions about how Dante should read in English, she does so ultimately in the hope of creating a more truthful rendering of the text. Bang discussed in her lecture how many translations of the Inferno are written in elevated, renaissance-style English—a trend she speculates stems from translators’ desire to acknowledge the poem’s age and the disparities between modern English and fourteenth-century Italian. Yet Bang argued that such piously old-fashioned renderings of the Inferno were flawed from the start, since the fourteenth-century English of Dante’s contemporaries differed drastically from the seventeenth-century Elizabethan variety favored by these translators. A truly historically accurate translation of the Inferno in this sense would have to sound a lot less like Milton or Shakespeare and a lot more like the Middle English of Chaucer.