31 mar. 2005

We're all allowed few blind spots. Aside from Brodsky and Milosz, I have never been interested in Montale, though I don't have an active dislike for the latter. Yet I would feel embarrassed for someone who didn't appreciate Cavafy or Pessoa. I think Olson is overrated, but I would feel embarrassed for someone who didn't *get* Creeley. Secretly, we all think our blind spots are not really blind spots, but actually correspond to some deficiencies in the original. In unguarded moments we confess our lack of interest in Pynchon. We reduce Rodin to Romantic bathos.

On the other hand, I'm sure that Auden is wrong when he says that Cavafy doesn't lose much in the translation. I'm convinced that what is lost in the translation of Cavafy is immeasurable, despite that fact that translations of his work still make for convincing reading. Maybe a pure superstition on my part.