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August 2000, Week 2


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"Shari L. Rosenblum" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 11 Aug 2000 13:53:24 EDT
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I sidetrack a bit here on Lang Thompson's remarks:

> >(I do, however, recall hearing it argued in France that Laurel and Hardy
>  >are funnier there because the voices of those who dub them are
>  >better than the originals.)
>  Some people also claim that the reason Poe was so crucial in France is
>  because his stories were translated by Baudelaire.  (& I think some of the
>  poetry by Mallarme but might be mistaken about that.)

Begging the question of what made him crucial enough for Baudelaire
and Mallarme to make the effort to translate him so
the first place. (For the record, if I recall correctly, Baudelaire
did the complete works, and Mallarme, as you note, some of the poetry.
Somewhere online there is -- or was --  a side by side comparison
of their translations of The Raven, both of which suffer, to my
mind, beside the orignial -- but which are intriguing in and
of themselves.)

Baudelaire called Poe the true child of passion and adventure, but
it is worth noting, I think, that Baudelaire also made sure to mention,
in his biographical writing on Poe, that Poe's grandfather knew Lafayette . .

More significant, though, and rather pertinent in the context of
this discussion is how the essence of Poe was coopted by
translation, rather than merely transported.  Is teaching Baudelaire's
Poe effectively teaching Poe?  Or is it more like teaching Baudelaire?

>  And that the early
>  Cahiers critics/New Wave directors paid such attention to style and visual
>  elements was because their English wasn't always up to the
>  unsubbed/undubbed films screening at the Cinemateque Francaise.

I love this claim, which I've heard before, and always wonder to myself
if we might then explain the concomitant critical theories burgeoning
in literary studies before, at and around the same moment by
assuming that the new literary critics couldn't actually understand their
subjects either.

Shari Rosenblum

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