- Publisher: Marsilio Pub; Bilingual edition (April 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568860102
- ISBN-13: 978-1568860107
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Songs in Flight: The Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann Paperback – April, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't think Filkins' translation was in poor faith; he appears to be a poet himself, which is surprising, and he does take pains to retain word order from the German and, most jarringly, preserve rhyme schemes. (Remember high school "translations" of Chaucer? Oh, the grief...) But there are just as many flat-out semantic errors in translation as ingenious attempts at preservation, and it's clear he has no intuition for Bachmann's thought patterns and her ear for sound. Here's hoping someone who does eventually replaces this "standard" text with a more sensitive rendering.
For the record, this reviewer has disagreed strongly with everything Susan Sontag has said about Central European literature, notably Peter Nadas' "A Book of Memories."
The translations, however, are not simply pedantic and lacking in all the subtle, lyric musicality of Bachmann's style, they are often downright inaccurate. I have only been leafing through the book for a few minutes, and have already encountered two type-os. This is irresponsible, and quite astounding considering this work was done by someone who considers himself a poet. A good translation could be a work of art in its own right. What a shame.