Posts Tagged ‘R J Dent’s non-fiction’

A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: William Blake’s and Robert Graves’ The Tyger by R J Dent

April 15, 2016

 

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The Tiger

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes

On what wings dared he aspire

What the hand dared seize the fire

 

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart

Did he smile his work to see

Did he who made the lamb make thee

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Dared frame thy fearful symmetry

 

Robert Graves

 

Even the most cursory glance will reveal some fundamental differences between the above two poems. Graves’ rewrite came about due to a number of flaws he felt existed in Blake’s poem. He writes of these in ‘Tyger, Tyger’, an essay collected in The Crane Bag and Other Disputed Subjects. In the essay, Graves is particularly scathing of Blake’s tendency to mix his tenses, remain ‘imprecise and ambiguous’, ‘grammatically incoherent’ and to not care about the rhetorical focus of the poem.

More importantly, however, Graves neglects at any time to mention that he has ‘made his own arrangement of The Tyger’. After interviewing Graves, Christopher Burstall claims that Graves’ ‘arrangement’ includes ‘cutting out two verses and putting the whole poem in the past tense’, so that it is grammatically correct and more structurally cohesive. Read more…

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A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: Robert Graves’ and William Blake’s The Tyger

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

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On Translating Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal into English – by R J Dent

January 10, 2015

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One of the frustrations, the challenges, the problems – and probably the joys – of translating Baudelaire’s poetry is choosing the correct idiom to translate into.

Taking the words, sentences, phrases, lines, from the language of one country and translating them into the corresponding or equivalent language of another country is the type of work that can be done by almost anyone.

However, choosing the absolutely perfect cultural, social, geographical, spatial, historical, temporal and linguistic framework to put the translated words onto is another matter entirely, and will very much depend on the translator’s intentions and the receptive vocabulary of the proposed readership.

And when it’s poetry that is being translated, the task becomes even more complicated; the problems suddenly multiply. Read more…

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R J Dent says: ‘I found translating Charles Baudelaire’s influential poetry collection Les Fleurs du Mal from French into modern English to be a rewarding, but challenging experience. This essay outlines some of the challenges and joys of the translation process.’

 R J Dent’s English translation of The Flowers of Evil is available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Evil-Artificial-Paradise-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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On Translating Baudelaire

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

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The Short Story by R J Dent

March 22, 2009


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A brief look at the history of the short story

Traditionally, the short story is a fictional prose tale of non-specified length, although a story of more than 20,000 words is usually considered to be a novella, a novelette or a short novel. The short story is generally too short to be published as a volume on its own, as in the case of the novel or the play. Dramatically, the short story usually concentrates on a single event involving only one or two characters. Here then, is a brief history of the beginnings of the short story as a recognized literary form.

The world’s oldest extant short story is Chabuki Yun’s Hop Ten Yato, usually translated as Green Tea. This 5000 word Chinese folk story is believed to have been written by Chabuki in 1100BC. Green Tea concerns itself with the meetings which take place between a princess and a Genji. The steam of the green tea of the title is the medium by which the Genji visits the princess and informs her of other-worldly realms. The princess grows weary of her day-to-day existence and of her Earth-bound form and decides to leave them behind.

“There is still so much to be done. Things cannot continue as they are for much longer. This world of ours must change!” Princess Hitami paused, and then announced: “No! We must change!” Read more…

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R J Dent says: ‘The Short Story is an experiment. It’s an essay about the short story that just happens to be a short story; it’s a fiction in the form of an essay (a fictional essay), or it’s a non-fiction short story. It’s a hybrid form of writing – part essay/part short story. I wanted to push fiction to its limit, to lower the threshold to the floor in terms of what can be done with the short story form. My initial idea was to write a history of the short story – and to make the whole thing fictional, with the appearance of it being factual – which is why I used the essay form as the mode of presentation. Readers generally accept the essay – the most fictional form of writing – as the most factual; the most truthful; the most non-fictional. I thought I’d use that acceptance to tell a story.’

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

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