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A flawed translation that OUP should now replace
on 7 August 2017
After first posting a review, I've had second thoughts about it and downgraded it to three stars. The problem with this translation is that it is littered with jarring clumsinesses in the handling of metre, rhythm and register that introduce sudden interruptions into the narrative flow. Examples abound where instead of a line of ten (phonic) syllables, you get eleven and the following line, though having ten syllables Is wrenchingly unrhythmic. Moreover, such awkwardnesses are avoidable by small emendations evident even to one who cannot translate Latin. Also Melville repeatedly walks into the well-known pitfall of rendition in blank verse whereby it slips into and out of a prose register. These flaws are not acceptable in a contemporary translation and it's time, IMHO, that OUP replaced this translation with a better one.
The one redeeming feature is Kenny's section of explanatory notes that are well above the standard you normally get in non-critical editions. For that alone the award of three stars is justified. On the other hand, there are now many modern translations available and the discerning reader should, in my view, shop around.