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400 LEITERS IN CANADA: 1964 Although this is a scholarly work of absolutely first class nature there is about it a charmingly subjective atmosphere. The reader has the unusual sensation of entering the academic personality, usually considered austere unemotional premises, and sharing its enthusiasms, difficulties , triumphs, and snorts of disgust. Only One disturbing thought rests with him. He may well wonder where the author, after producing such a deBnitive volume, may possibly move next in his Beld of specialization other than towards an elaboration of certain chapters, such as that on the Renart Le Contrefait or a study of a particular social or linguistic problem in any branch or continuation. For Professor Flinn, with his scope, command and thoroughness, has proVided, for a long time, his greatest adversary in himself. A disquieting opponent-oneself. (ROBERT HARDEN) CLASSICS Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was first printed exactly a century ago. Hardly more than a dozen years had passed before it was translated into German, French, Swedish, Italian, Dutch, Danish, and Russian. By 1963-as we learn from Warren Weaver's Alice in Many Tongueseditions had been published in a further thirty languages, including Japanese ("Dream of Flapper Girl"), Chinese, Hebrew, Turkish, Swahili, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Thai, and Korean. Alice has been set to music, paraded on stage and screen, scribbled in shorthand, punched into Braille, and pilloried in comics. About the only novelty left open was the execution of the work in a dead tongue, and this has now been accomplished by C. H. Carruthers, Professor Emeritus of Classics at McGill, whose book includes the Tenniel illustrations, though unfortunately not the prefatoty verses "All in the golden afternoon" : Ludovici CalToll, Alicia in Terra Mirabili. Latine redditus ab eius fautore vetere gratoque Clive Harcourt Carruthers (Macmillan of Canada, pp. viii, 116, $3.25)' Reckoned in terms of sales and rave notices, the impact which Alicia in Terra Mirahili might have made on a world not noticeably enthusiastic over Latin prose composition has probably been softened, if not deadened, by the sueees fou of Winnie Ille Pu. Surely cause for regret, for whereas Winnie the Pooh with its namby-pamby baby talk is a book written steeply down to an infant's level, Lewis Carroll's genius, or, if vou like, neurosis (Dr. Paul Schilder found in him "oral sadistic traits of cannibalism," New York Times, December 30, 1936), enabled him I-IUMANITIES 401 to hold fascinating converse with small girls on equal terms, according them the full dignity of an adult, whilst retaining himself the unspoiled freshness of an earnest child. As a resuit, Winnie is simple to translate and tedious in translation, whereas putting Alice into Latin involves technical but exciting difficulties of the kind Signor Pitta found himself up against when he attempted a few years ago to put P. G. Wodehouse into Italian with Psmith Giornalista. What makes any Latin translation of Alice seem doomed to failure is such un-Roman notions as "took a watch out of its waistcoat pocket," "quietly smoking a long hookah," and English puns like "tale/ tail" and the "Drawling-Master" who taught the Mock Turtle "Fainting in Coils." And yet Carruthers has come close to achieving the impossible: horologium parvum e sinu subuculae extractum; fumum tabaci ex tubulo longo placide exsugebat; causa/cauda; magister Fricaturae ( Pict-) ... Artes Soleis Fingendi (oleis p-). "Orange marmalade," "cherry tart," "not/ knot," "pig/ fig," and other posers are turned into Latin with equal felicity, and the first verse of 'Will you walk a little faster," Paulo citius incede, sic alburnus cochleae, could hardly be bettered. Capital! Had this standard been maintained, the work would have defied criticism. We need not worry overmuch about the inevitable failure to reproduce the word-play of "Do cats eat bats?" (Felesne vescuntur vespertilionibus?), though I am astounded that F. A. G. Losel in Hermathena 99 (1964) 66ff. should in his entrancing study of the first German version reprove Fraulein Zimmermann for her "una Katzen fressen doch Spatzen?" (sparrows). Moreover, Lose!'s sensitivity to Carroll's "motif of cruelty" and "sudden malicious twists" (op. cit. 76) is not shared by native speakers of English, and is an unsafe guide to literary criticism, though...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 400-403
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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