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[233] best, can rarely reach? Goethe says that ‘the translator is a person who introduces you to a veiled beauty; he makes you long for the loveliness behind the veil,’ and we have in the notes to his ‘West-Östliche Divan’ the celebrated analysis of the three forms of translation. He there says, ‘Translation is of three kinds: First, the prosaic prose translation, which is useful in enriching the language of the translator with new ideas, but gives up all poetic art, and reduces even the poetic enthusiasm to one level watery plain. Secondly, the re-creation of the poem as a new poem, rejecting or altering all that seems foreign to the translator's nationality, producing a paraphrase which might, in the primal sense of the word, be called a parody. And, thirdly,. . . the highest and last, where one strives to make the translation identical with the original; so that one is not instead of the other, but in the place of the other. This sort of translation . .. “approaches the interlinear version, and makes the understanding of the original a much easier task; thus we are led into the original,—yes, even driven in; and herein the great merit of this kind of translation lies.” ’1

It may be doubted, however, whether Longfellow,

1 I here follow the condensed version of Mr. W. P. Andrews, in his remarkable paper ‘On the Translation of Faust’ (Atlantic Monthly, LXVI., 733).

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1)
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