Teresa of Avila: The Book of My Life Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Any translation project is bedeviled by the twin aims of faithfulness and accessibility tangling with one another (not to mention the translator). The degree of priority given to one objective over the other will have varying impacts on different readers. One translation may touch you far more tenderly than another, yet leave your neighbor cold. Or it may affect the same person in different ways at different times. Indeed, reading more than one translation of spiritual texts is often beneficial, as each may tap distinct strengths of the original, leading to a richer composite.
I enjoyed the liveliness of this translation, and found it absorbing on a level that more exact renderings struggle to attain. I admit, though, that some of the translation choices "missed the mark" for me, at times making Teresa feel stifled--like having a phone conversation dotted with bursts of static. It also made me itch to uncover what lay hidden behind the at times hyper-contemporary idiom. In the end, upon finishing this version, I found myself aching to engage the saint without interference, and reaching for another version of the work in order to do so. Still, I don't regret the time I spent reading this translation.
So, if you seek to encounter the vibrancy and style of this grand, wild, fabulous saint in a compelling and readable translation of her autobiography, the eloquence and immediacy of this edition will be most welcome. If you prefer to meet Teresa on her own terms, in her original context and expression, without learning Spanish (with a sixteenth century twist, at that), then you will likely find greater profit in the more precise translations (by Peers or Kavanaugh, for example). But, if you choose according to your disposition, the vigor of St. Teresa will penetrate idiosyncrasies and come alive for you. The woman faced down the Spanish Inquisition--she can stand up to a gaggle of translators!
What emerges is a multidimensional portrayal of Teresa as a woman, nun, intrepid reformer, teacher, mystic, and saint.
This is the fascinating story of a soul whose trajectory to sainthood was often impeded by struggle, self-recrimination, doubt, and frustration -- which gives us all hope for our own progress. Teresa was a force-of-nature, deeply pious and humble, and yet fiercely determined to deliver her message.
Ms. Starr's translation is a true work of scholarship that animates Teresa's life with remarkable realism and humanity. Teresa's powerful teachings are deftly translated in all their authentic splendor, rendering them accessible and eternally relevant.
This is not a wooden translation that obscures the humanity of its subject. It is an engaging read about one of the most charismatic mystics of all time.
With one eye on precise translation and the other on the meaning behind every word--Starr sees clearly not only what Teresa was saying but also the mystery to which her words point. Starr introduces us to a Teresa who is down to earth but capable of soaring, nevertheless. Through her open translation Miabai Starr opens the eye of our understanding as to the unitive state toward which Teresa is headed. When Teresa longs for the unitive state, Mirabai Starr helps us get in touch with that longing.
This ability to bring Teresa close, to make her live, to make her breathe, to ask her what it means to be human--to find ourselves in Teresa and find her in us--this is the greatest gift of "The Book of My Life."