2 sept. 2003

"We have been experimenting with verse."

When I read this sentence yesterday in a translation of Mallarmé's essays, the original French, from when I read the essay 20 years ago, popped into my head:

"On a touché le vers."

Mallarmé is bringing news (from France to England). The progressive mode ("We have been experimenting...") is all wrong. We need the sense of an EVENT. The verb "experimenting" is wrong in this context as well. And the personal pronoun "We" for the impersonal "on."

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