Top critical review
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Irritatingly dumbed down translation.
on 30 December 2016
It is not St. Teresa of Avila's masterpiece that I dislike about the book, but this particular translation. Mirabai Starr made the mistake when translating the book, of deciding to dumb down and nice-ify the spiritual language that Teresa uses- for example, refusing to translate "the devil" as such, rather using the expression "the spirit of evil", and refers to sin as "missing the mark". I think this betrays the essence of St. Teresa's work, and the meaning she intended to convey. When she said "sin" and "the devil", that is precisely what she meant. The attempt to make the translation applicable to all religions was a misguided one, as St. Teresa's whole life, her spirituality, everything she knew and experienced about God was firmly Catholic. She wasn't some generic "religious person" or all inclusive "spiritual figure". She was Catholic, and her work was Catholic. To try to subvert that would be to deny the very premises that her entire work was based upon. Therefore, I would not recommend this translation, though I would highly recommend St. Teresa's work as it was originally intended.