[b-greek] Re: whether to anacolouthize

From: Bart Ehrman (behrman@email.unc.edu)
Date: Fri Sep 22 2000 - 12:48:16 EDT


   thanks for your note. I'm doing a new edition of the Loeb -- so your
response is particularly germane. The problem, as some others have noted,
is that there cannot be much of an "apparatus" in this context.

   It's interesting to note, btw, that there are two diametrically opposed
views of the "literal-idiomatic" question among Loeb
translators/editors. My assumption all these years before taking this on
had been that "more literal" (but completely readable) the better,
on the grounds that someone should be able to detect from the
English which words from the Greek were being translated; others --
including some of the Harvard Press editors -- take the other view, that
since a reader already has the help of the Greek, there is less need to
be so literal! Interesting debate I'd say.

   thanks again,

-- Bart Ehrman

On Fri, 22 Sep 2000, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:

> on 09/22/00 7:39 AM, Bart Ehrman wrote:
> > Ignatius was in a hurry and, frankly, had a few other things on his
> > mind. Whatever the reasons, his letters are frequently, uh, rushed. I
> > have a BIG question about what to do with them. Does the translator work
> > to make sense of the thoughts Ignatius was expressing, and correct his
> > grammar in order to do so? Or does s/he leave the sundry inconcinnities
> > (and mistakes) to give a sense of the "tone" of the letters?
> Bart,
> What are your objectives for this translation? Who is your target audience?
> Are you writing for someone reading the Greek text and using the English as
> a "help" or are you writing for English readers only?
> I have used the Loeb series frequently and it is at times difficult to
> detect the answer to this question. Some of the English translations are not
> literal enough to be of much assistance when you are working in the Greek
> text.
> Since I don't know who your intended readership is, I will not propose a
> solution to your problem.
> One of the pleasures of reading ancient literature in translation is
> experiencing the temporal and cultural "distance" between the ancient author
> and the (post) modern reader. This "distance" is obscured or totally lost by
> rendering an ancient text into contemporary street idioms. I don't think
> there is any danger of you doing that with Ignatius.
> Everett Fox's "The Five Books of Moses" has gone a long way toward making
> English translations of the bible respectable tools for serious readers
> again after some of us had more or less given up hope on English
> translations due to the popularity of Eugene Peterson and the NIV.
> Clay
> --
> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
> Three Tree Point
> P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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