Time to get serious

With Croce. This one:


Not this one:


My intention is to translate Croce's Pensieri, a small chunk at a time, which works well, I hope, because these compositions are formed in small chunks.

Let me begin with Pensieri sull'arte (1885), XI:

"È umorista chi considera la vita non altrimenti di come essa merita d'esser considerata. Non sul serio, perché non è cosa tutta seria. Non sul ridicolo, perché non è cosa ridicola."

It is the humorist who considers life not otherwise than as it merits being considered. Not as serious, because is not a serious thing. Not as ridiculous, because it is not a ridiculous thing.

Translator's note: Many translators seem tempted to rewrite the thoughts of the translatee as they would like to have seen them expressed. For instance, consider "non altrimenti di come essa merita d'esser considerata." I can easily imagine that being translated as "as it should be considered." That, it would be claimed, is more "straightforward." But Croce could have put it that way in Italian: It is not as though it is impossible to phrase it thus in the original language. Croce chose the more roundabout expression, and I do not think it is the translator's job to correct the original author.

3 comments:

  1. Gene: If the top picture is Benedetto, who is the other Croce pictured?

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  2. Jim. Bad Leroy Brown. Time in a bottle.

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  3. Boy, do I feel stupid! D'oh.

    I was going to say the one may have influenced the other, but on second thought, "time in a bottle" exhibits a kind of alcoholic Kantianism, not the full-throated Hegelianism of Jim's name-sake.

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