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HUMANITIES 399 Naaman. The [roquoiseIL'[roquoise, edited by Guildo Rousseau (77, $6.00 paper), reproduces both the French version (1837) and its American source (1827) of a popular North American legend, whose mysterious· origin has now been unearthed. In conclusion, these translations are, in general, good translations and thoughtful acts of literary criticism. However, in several of these year's publications (The Death ofAndre Breton, Broke City, Selected Tales ofJacques Ferron, the Tremblay novel, Voiceless People), the translations have made a conscious decision to dilute the anglicisms ofthe French text, to ignore the highly symbolic fact thatcertain passages were presentedin English in the original, or not to convey joua!. This tendency is something translators should reconsider; language in Quebecis such a key element ofits culture and self-image that the impact of the original is not passed on to the English reader. There is a danger here of what Ben-Zion Shek (Ellipse, 21, 1977) calls diglossia (the subordination of one language to another), and in which the act of translation is symbolic of the entire socio-political and cultural problem ofthe relations between Canada and Quebec, dominator and dominated. Humanities Anthony J. Podlecki. The Early Greek Poets and Their Times University of British Columbia Press. xiv, 282. $29.00 In the centuries following Homer, preceding the flowering of tragedy at Athens, Greece produced a multiplicity of poets representative of all major dialects and geographical areas, from Asia Minor to Sicily. For variety of genre and richness of poetic personality this age, frequently called the Archaic, or simply Lyric, Age has no peer in antiquity. The vagaries of manuscript transmission have bequeathed us only a tiny fraction ofthe total production ofsome twenty poets. Butas the sands and mummies of Egypt have yielded treasures in our time, our knowledge of these poets and the world they inhabited has increased immeasurably. The necessity offitting new pieces into the puzzle assures a steady stream of books on the early lyric poets of Greece. Professor Podlecki approaches the material primarily as a historian. He is interested in chronology, in the relation of the poets to military and political events, and in the societies in which they often played leading roles. He does for the lyric poets in this book what he earlier did for Aeschylus (The Political Background of Aeschylean Tragedy, 1966). And he does it well. He has an easy familiarity with the texts and a knowledge of the historical background uncommon in purely literary critics. Omnipresent is the spirit of the late C.M. Bowra of Oxford, whose three books, 400 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 on Elegy, on Lyric, and on Pindar, Podlecki openly admires and frequently follows, though Bowra wrote as a literary scholar with an interest in history, while Podlecki writes with the opposite emphasis. Recent fashion has been somewhat hostile to historical reading of the poets, with various schools of symbolism, formalism, structuralism, and psychological interpretation attacking more traditional methods. But this hostility appears to be ebbing. A reassertion of time-honoured values is welcome, especially when a study can draw on so much new work in archaeology and papyrology. A book with a historical bias will naturally be weighted in favour of poets like Alcaeus, Tyrtaeus, and Solon, all deeply involved in public life, and will have less to say about Sappho and Anacreon, who were neither law-givers nor so obviously caught up in politics or factional strife. Semonides of Amorgos has no place in Podlecki's book, for despite his importance in early iambic poetry we know next to nothing about him. Pindar comes off well, of course, as his patrons span the entire Greek world in the early fifth century. Podlecki is especially happy in dealing with Simonides of Ceos, who comes to life as a poet of originality and talent and as friend of Thessalian princes and of the Athenian Themistocles during the period of the Persian Wars. The book contains no Greek texts. The English translations are for the most part accurate and deft. Short quotations are the rule and full passages comparatively rare. There are no footnotes, thouglJ. there are helpful suggestions for further reading to accompany each chapter. Podlecki is brisk...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 399-400
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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