[PW] verifying line in a translation of Rilke?
cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Thu Oct 29 13:57:55 PDT 2015
Kevin O'Kelly scripsit:
> A friend of mine recalls reading a translation of Rilke's "Day in Autumn"
> that contains the line, ""He who is alone will always be alone."
If it exists, it is a grotesque mistranslation. The German text says
"Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben" which means "Whoever is
alone now will remain so for a long time".
> Can anyone verify that a translation with the line as my friend remembers
> it exists?
I note that the translation by Mary Kinzie at
"who lives alone will live indefinitely so", which is a little closer
to your version semantically. Perhaps "lange" will bear the reading "
indefinitely" in poetry, but not "always".
Disclaimer: A native speaker of German should look at this.
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan cowan at ccil.org
The first thing you learn in a lawin' family is that there ain't
no definite answers to anything. --Calpurnia in To Kill A Mockingbird
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