Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poe as translated by Baudelaire

I have read it said that "Poe translated by Baudelaire is better than Poe in English."

I can't really comment from personal experience, but I can well beleive it. Why? After reading various works of Poe, while I congratulate him on being an excellent story-constructor, and an adept at playing on a readers' subconcious, and at "getting inside the head of" his (often) insane protagonists, his works have little of what I would call a Shakespearean mastery of wordplay.

However, Charles Baudelaire does appear to have it. Although even then I find myself at the mercy of the translator (and editors) to reach any opinion.

Shakespeare and Baudelaire aren't the only authors to have such a "way with words," and I find myself unable to properly explain the distinction. It is one of those few ideas felt rather than conceived, I think.

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