To the Editors:
It was my hope that William Jay Smith’s malevolent and remarkably unsubstantiated attack on my translation of Montale’s The Storm and Other Things (October, 1986) would need no rebuttal. The uncanny badness of the alternative versions he proposes and the implicit perversion of Montale’s poetics should, for any intelligent reader equipped with even modest Italian, have invalidated the review. But his disingenuous response to Gertrude Hooker’s defense of both Montale and me (February, 1987) reveals that he is still bent on darkening counsel. In the hope of preventing further damage to Montale and in defense of my own years of labor, I offer the following comments on what seem to me (interpretative differences apart) the most debated and revealing points at issue.

1. “Carbuncle blaze” is my translation of the phrase balenio di carbonchio, an allusion to the red gill of the trout in...

 
Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now