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Greetings everyone,

I hope that you are having a great week (and I hope to see most of you tomorrow at the workshop…)!

Like Alexa, I am going to focus my discussion on Aggeler’s and Wagner’s translations of Baudelaire’s “À une passante”; more specifically, I would like to focus on the (beginning of the) eighth line:  “La douceur qui fascine et le plaisir qui tue” (8).  After playing around with Google Translate, I entered the original text (for a somewhat “literal” translation… sometimes the translation isn’t spot-on); this is what Google translated into English:  “The softness that fascinates and the pleasure that kills.”  If you look at Wagner’s translation of the original line 8, there is a literal translation; however, if you take a look at Aggeler’s translation of Baudelaire’s line, it takes on a more beautiful and poetic appearance:  “The sweetness that enthralls and the pleasure that kills.”  I enjoy the more “poetic” translation—which do you prefer?  As a lover of Latin, I find it incredibly difficult to read an exact or literal translation because such translations take away so much of the power and poetic properties of the original poem—it’s so sad!  I’m in favor of Aggeler’s diction—“The sweetness that enthralls…”  The speaker is not only mesmerized by the woman’s eyes, but captivated, essentially held as a prisoner—a prisoner of her beauty; whereas the speaker in Wagner’s translation is merely “fascinate[d].”  Aggeler’s eighth line communicates on a far deeper level than Wagner’s!

See you all tomorrow at 12:00 pm in Vodra Hall Room 143!  J


Tyler Darvalics