Monday, February 11, 2008
Martin, Clancy. "Review of Two Recent Translations of Nietzsche's THUS SPOKE ZARATHRUTRA." NDPR Feburary 6, 2008.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (hereafter TSZ) is a difficult book to translate. With a traditional philosophical text the translator's conscience is driven by accuracy, and when in doubt the translator will be as literal as possible. But that won't work with TSZ. While it is an undeniably philosophical work -- Nietzsche, the most widely influential philosopher of the past two hundred years, considered it his masterpiece -- it is also a work of literature. And you can't translate literature literally and have it work out well. Literature doesn't have only a sense, it also has a sound. That Nietzsche, like Kierkegaard, the German Romantics, and many of the twentieth-century Existentialists, thought philosophy and literature were ultimately inseparable arts only further complicates the translator's task. . . . Please visit the following link for the reviews of these two translations: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=12285.