19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei
After reading Weinberger’s An Elemental Thing, I knew that, sooner or later, I’d have to have more of Weinberger’s work under my belt. After biding my time, watching for an inexpensive used copy and to make up a minimum order that qualified for free shipping, I finally ordered and received this one. Good for me.
I’d read the GR description of 19 Ways, but somehow I’d decided it would be ‘about’ Wang Wei’s short poem in the same way that An Elemental Thing is
about whatever-the-hell-it’s-about co
of a book of translations of Wang's poetry I discuss some of the difficulties one necessari ...more
Short, ingenious little work showing the text of a short Chinese poem by Wang Wei, written in the 8th century, (reproduced above), a literal transliteration, and just over a dozen alternate translations. Some of these are ghastly, and some manage to preserve much of the poem's original meaning, its direct clarity, but even provide a new interpretation of it. Shows how much the styles of translation have changed over the past hundred years. One of the other translatio ...more
I read the book in less than an hour and enjoyed every minute. Well, maybe not the last few. The "Further Comm ...more
From the title, which appears to be inspired by Wallace Stevens’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at ...more
On its surface, and a gossamer-thin surface it is, this book is a comparative-literature exercise, with its laser focus on a single, four-line Chinese poem by Wang Wei, dated from about 1200 years ago. Per the title, there are 19 translations investigated by Eliot Weinberge ...more
It's not you, it's me.
Such a short book and yet the pages seemed to go on forever. Yes, translation is a very interesting subject but somehow near the middle part I was ready to finish. I guess it didn't help the fact that I was reading it in a crowded waiting room and the doctor was running late so I ended up waiting almost an hour for my appointment.
I liked the analysis done to the metrics of poetry but the author's comments on a couple of translations should have been shorter.
Weinberger's close reading of the translations following his own literal rendition of possibilities indicates the individual translator's movement away from the origina ...more
The subject of the book is a brief poem of four lines written in the 8th century by Wang Wei, a Chinese Buddhist poet, painter and calligrapher. On each pair of facing pages, the author presents a version or translation of the poem, and commentary on tha ...more
His latest collection has been getting rave reviews (amazon ran out of stock on it for a bit),, but I started out with "An Elemental Thing", and have been hooked since. Paz' "official" translator, he has also delved into Chinese poetry. Having been a Pound freak in my youth, this is a nice return to Western translation of Chinese traditional/ancient/classical poe ...more
Weinberger's critiques of different translations are insightful across-the-board, and offer a delightful portion of snark when discussing some of the more unfortunate translation ch ...more
Overall, great poets and an interesting focused dis ...more
Weinberger first gained recognition for his translations of the Nobel Prize winning writer and poet Octavio Paz. His many translations of the work of Paz include the Collected Poems 1957-1987, In Light of India, and Sunston ...more