Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back to Basics

I'm sure wonderful new fiction is out there, which I should be reading, but I've failed to find it this summer.  Buddenbrooks, Mann's first novel in the allegedly "superior new translation" of John E. Woods. Since I am unable to read Mann in the original German, it is impossible for me to compare the two translations, but I will say that while Lowe-Porter's translation seems more elegant, Woods strikes a more natural, colloquial note.
All the new novels I've started reading (and mostly failed to finish) have disappointed. So, I've gone back to my favorite novelist, Thomas Mann, who never disappoints. For the first time, I'm reading him in a translation not by H.T. Lowe-Porter, with whom Mann collaborated closely. Instead, I'm reading

Read in whichever translation, Mann's Buddenbrooks should be read and savored, along with everything else he wrote.

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