From Library Journal
A translator of Horace, Balzac, Rabelais, and Salvador Espriu, as well as a theorist (The Art of Translating Prose, Pennsylvania State Univ. Pr., 1994), Raffel (Univ. of Southwest Louisiana) undertook the formidable task of translating Cervantes's masterpiece because he was uncomfortable recommending any of the existing translations. There are some real differences here. Raffel has junked the traditional transcription of Cide Hamete, the pseudoauthor, in favor of the less "colonialist" and more authentic Arabic, Sidi Hamid. Proper names that contain puns are explained within square brackets, and footnotes are kept to a minimum. A more vernacular style reigns: The blow on the neck and the stroke on the shoulder that dub Don Quijote a knight are, respectively, a "whack" and a "tap." The women at the inn, usually called "wenches," are "party-girls" or "whores." Sancho dreams that his "old lady" will someday be a queen and that his "kids" will be princes. In the proofs, "Castile" has been misspelled as "Castille," an oversight one would hope to see corrected in the final book. This is a lively alternative to the wide assortment of truly old-fashioned translations. Recommended.?Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Raffel has managed, by extremely careful research, to keep the flavor of the late-seventeenth-century Spanish, at the same time that the English is very smooth. . . . Indeed, Raffel seems to have created a Cervantine English. -- Javier Herrero, University of Virginia
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