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HUMANITIES 395 form and meaning. Franciere rarely specifies more than Watson has done, or simplifies the many ambiguities of The Double Hook. Although a few clauses, phrases, and individual words (usually adjectives) are not translated from the English, these shortcomings are less serious than the translator's imprecision about and misinterpretation of specific details. The French text provides an approximation rather than a reliable translation when it gives 'inside' as 'sous/ 'across' as 'sur,' 'forever' as 'longtemps: 'his old lady' as 'sa mere: and'Ara will welcome you' as 'Ara s'occupera de toi. ' In the last two examples the translation misses important nuances in The Double Hook, although French equivalents can be found. In a similar way 50us I'reil de Coyote fails to reproduce the ritualistic structure of Greta's thoughts on death (Part III, chapter 8) and the Significant and deliberate repetition of 'words' in the conversation of Kip and Lenchen about James (Part II, chapter 11). Furthermore, Paddy's description of the parrot's rights as those of'a dumb beast and a speaking man at the same time' is reduced to the inadequate 'une bete qui parle: and Traff's reference to James as 'this one' (Part rv, chapter 9) is mistakenly rendered in the feminine as 'celle-lit.' As a final example of misinterpretation , Lenchen's request to Angel ('let me stop') is mistranslated as 'Iaisse-moi rester id une minute: which adds a qualification that clearly contradicts the English words. Still, these shortcomings notwithstanding , 50us I'reil de Coyote gives us a very reliable sense of both the form and the meaning of Watson's novel. Before concluding I want to mention Philip Stratford's publication this year of Bibliography of Canadian Books in Translation: French to English and English to French/Bibliographie de livres canadiens traduits de I'anglais au franrais et dll Franrais ii l'anglais, 2nd ed (HRCC, 78, $1.00 paper). As a convenient and comprehensive summary of translation activity in Canada up to 1977, the Bibliography constitutes yet another prominent 'voice from Quebec.' Although other voices from Quebec and the West have not always been clearly interpreted by the translators as they pursue their difficult but vital mission (there has been, in Jacques Brault's words, some 'appropriation, shoplifting, treason and ... twisting of meaning' this year), many of these original voices have been creatively imitated and transformed into graceful and respectful echoes. Humanities Northrop Frye. Spiritus Mundi. Essays 011 Literature, Myth , and Society Indiana University Press 1976. xvi, 296. $12.50 A book by Northrop Frye arouses expectations. We look for another stage in the advancement of a structure, in finding what we.know not by virtue 396 LETIERS IN CANADA 1977 of what we know. We also look for a demonstration not only that the system works, but that it works triumphantly with the most obstinate of poems, alerting us to central behaviour symptoms which less inclusive systems fail to predict. The table of contents in Spiritus Mundi is framed to encourage such expectations. Twelve essays are announced in three symmetrical groups of four, dealing respectively with the contexts of literature, the mythological universe, and four individual poets- Milton, Blake, Yeats, and Stevens. We may be a little disappointed when we do not find ourselves proceeding inexorably from the social milieu and the mythic environment to the individual insights which are only made possible by carefully guided immersion in these contexts. The book in fact consists of twelve essays which Northrop Frye has not so far collected . But the disappointment of discovering this is by no means devastating ; the essays do have the relationship offered by those characteristic habits of understanding that have always distinguished the single mind behind them. Some of the essays in this collection were composed in climates that are no longer with us. The University and Personal Life' was written during the uninhibited sixties which Frye describes in his preface as the age of hysteria. The hysteria has passed as Frye foresaw it would, but it has been succeeded by a dejection that is even more disturbing. The idea of a university does not change but the forms by which the idea is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 395-398
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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