11. Recreating

What does it mean to translate in a way that is faithful to an original? What, for that matter, makes a book original, or even belong to an author? Critics argue these questions fiercely, and two recent translations by major women poets throw fuel on this fire: Anne Carson’s Antigonick and Mary Jo Bang’s Inferno. They not only resituate Sophocles and Dante in the language of the present, but also recast them visually (Carson collaborated with illustrator Bianca Stone and Bang with Henrik Drescher). Both translations continue the elegiac projects begun by Carson in Nox, written for her brother, and Bang in Elegy, written for her son. But Carson and Bang are also both in the business of subversively recreating a canonical text by a long-dead male author. / Rachel Galvin, Boston Review

Antigonick
Translated by Anne Carson
New Directions, $24.95 (cloth)

Inferno
Translated by Mary Jo Bang
Graywolf Press, $35 (cloth)

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