To the Editors:
The review by William Jay Smith of Eugenio Montale’s The Storm and Other Things in the October issue of The New Criterion contains many errors and questionable opinions—far more than can be discussed in a letter to the editor. In this necessarily brief and partial reply I should like to comment on Mr. Smith’s competence as a critic, first of Montale and second of the art of translation, with special reference to his attack on William Arrowsmith’s version of La bufera e altro.

Publication in English of a major new translation of the volume of poetry which authoritative critics of Montale consider to be the summit of his art is an important event in a generally bleak season. Reading Mr. Smith’s review, it is puzzling to see that he seems to have no special enthusiasm for this wonderful book, nor for Montale, whom he calls “perhaps” the finest Italian poet since Leopardi....

 
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