Thursday, October 6, 2011


Robin Robertson, whose translation of the Transtromer book The Deleted World I will have to buy when it appears (being favorably disposed to both translator and translatee), records a delightfully untranslatable Swedish word:
the plosive musicality of Swedish words like “domkyrkoklocklang” lose all their aural resonance when they become a “peal of cathedral bells.”
[Cf. hottentottententententoonstelling] I take it the way the word parses is "clock-clang in the doom-church" (i.e., the church of judgments and decisions, the cathedral); nevertheless I am struck by the aural similarity to "ku klux klan" -- itself of apparently onomatopoeic origins -- as well as the perhaps more obvious similarity to Donkey Kong.

Related: the Guardian's selection of poems by Forward-Prize-winning poets is worth looking at.

No comments: