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4 June 1981
Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu 
by John Felstiner.
Stanford, 284 pp., $18.50, December 1980, 0 8047 1079 1
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The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation 
edited by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 608 pp., £12.95, October 1980, 0 19 214103 1
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... John Felstiner’s Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu is an unusual, honest and enterprising book, but ultimately something of a disappointment. Its title suggests a book-lover’s pilgrimage, an intellectual adventure of the order of, say, The Quest for Corvo or The Road to Xanadu. A great deal of the pleasure it offers derives from the openness – rare in the academic field, where positions tend to be held with entrenched fervour – that the author permits in telling of his unique journey ...

Catching

Michael Hofmann

23 May 1996
Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew 
by John Felstiner.
Yale, 344 pp., £19.95, June 1995, 0 300 06068 8
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Breathturn 
by Paul Celan, translated by Pierre Joris.
Sun & Moon, 261 pp., $21.95, September 1995, 1 55713 218 6
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... the most written about poet of our time – over three thousand items, Pierre Joris reckons. John Felstiner’s book is of inestimable value to anyone wanting to read Celan with understanding. It provides a sort of triple deal, giving a rudimentary narrative of the life, and combining this with translations and brilliant readings of maybe four or ...

Dressed as an Admiral

Michael Wood: Neruda’s Hocus Pocus

2 September 2004
Memoirs 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Hardie St Martin.
Souvenir, 370 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 9780285648111
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Isla Negra: A Bilingual Edition 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid.
Souvenir, 416 pp., £14.99, June 2004, 0 285 64913 2
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The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems 
edited by Mark Eisner.
City Lights, 199 pp., $16.95, April 2004, 0 87286 428 6
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... too much plod or pointless infidelity. The exceptions are the always excellent Alastair Reid; and John Felstiner, who devoted a whole book to the problems of translating Neruda, especially ‘The Heights of Macchu Picchu’, a spectacular section of Canto general. The Essential Neruda is therefore a very welcome arrival. ‘Essential’ is probably too ...

My Americas

Donald Davie

3 September 1981
... at least, some of the most thoughtful and independent observers would persuade us. One of them is John Felstiner, whose book about Neruda was reviewed in LRB a few weeks back by Christopher Reid.1 Felstiner some years ago wrote an essay that I for my part found arresting and persuasive, in which he argued – largely ...

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