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What is concrete?

Michael Wood: Erich Auerbach, 5 March 2015

Time, History and Literature: Selected Essays of Erich Auerbach 
by Erich Auerbach, edited by James Porter, translated by Jane Newman.
Princeton, 284 pp., £27.95, December 2013, 978 0 691 13711 7
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... irdisch as ‘secular’. Conversely, once he has taken care of the title of the Dante book, Ralph Manheim translates irdisch as ‘earthly’. As in ‘the earthly world in all its diversity’ and ‘earthly reality in its true and definitive form’. Auerbach often uses ‘concrete’ in this context. He evokes ‘the life of Christ on earth as a ...

Au revoir et merci

Christopher Tayler: Romain Gary, 6 December 2018

The Roots of Heaven 
by Romain Gary, translated by Jonathan Griffin.
Godine, 434 pp., $18.95, November 2018, 978 1 56792 626 2
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Promise at Dawn 
by Romain Gary, translated by John Markham Beach.
Penguin, 314 pp., £9.99, September 2018, 978 0 241 34763 8
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... on wordplay and mordantly doctored clichés, need an imaginative, interventionist translator. Ralph Manheim, who did an English version of The Life before Us in 1978, was too grand to take advice on roughening up the text from a pipsqueak like Ajar, and since then only Bellos has risen to the challenge, with a free rendering of Pseudo as Hocus Bogus ...

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