Hendrik Slegtenhorst Recommends Robert Melançon


Le paradis des apparences (2004)
For as Far as the Eye Can See (Biblioasis, 2013)
by Robert Melançon, tr. Judith Cowan

Genre: Poetry & poetry translation.

Robert Melançon

Robert Melançon

Quick description:
The book consists of 144 12-line sonnets, intricately based upon the truncated form, the sonnets lacking a concluding couplet, but the book’s overarching structure of 12×12 invigorating.
Melançon’s explains this in sonnet 36:

Tout doit tenir en douze vers – un sonnet allégé …
Je m’en tiens au paradis des apparences :
Je trace un rectangle de douze lignes;
C’est une fenêtre par laquelle je regarde
Tout ce qui apparaît, qui n’a lieu qu’une fois.

Judith Cowan

Judith Cowan

Which Judith Cowan translates as:
It all has to fit into twelve lines—a lesser sonnet …
So I shall settle for the paradise of what I see:
I trace this rectangle of twelve lines and
make of it a window through which to observe
all that appears, and that happens only once.

Why I recommend this book:
Poetry with magnificent control of content, allusion, thematic integrations, form, metre, and of the sound of language; the fine interplay of sound, elevated further, because unbound, by the coherence of form. I first came to Melançon’s work through Donald McGrath’s prize-winning translation of Elégie écrite dans le parc Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in The Malahat Review 188 (2014). It had an immediate impact on me, for I lived two blocks from the park for many years, and the poem spoke to me with the reality of the place and the effect of its actuality on one’s thought when there.

Links for people to buy the book:
Chapters/Indigo – paperback
KOBO – eBook

Profile 3 130825 Headshots 018 Gloria SteelGuest reviewer’s latest title or project:
Covenant, my second book of poetry, was completed in March 2015. My third book of poetry, Constellations of Desire, is in progress.

Hendrik Slegtenhorst has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations.

Detlef Karthaus

I first met Detlef Karthaus in 2004 when my sister asked me to attend an Esperanto Club meeting in Toronto. Detlef has since retired and is now translating texts from English and German into Esperanto. I asked him to provide me with a translation of his replies to my questions so that this could be the first Reading Recommendations promotion offered to you in a bilingual version, English/Esperanto. This is also my first promotion of a translator. smt

autorportreto 001Detlef Karthaus

Esperanto and Esperantists – video

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest book is Telenio, an Esperanto translation of Teleny, atributed to Oscar Wilde, but likely a collaboration with Wilde and some of his friends.

Mia lasta libro estas Telenio, traduko de Teleny atribuita al Oscar Wilde, sed verŝajne verkita de Wilde kun iuj de siaj amikoj.

Quick description: Teleny is a gay erotic novel in the style of Victorian literature. It has made its mark for likely being the first gay novel in the English language. The book presented a number of translation challenges, not the least of which was to find an unexpurgated version in English. It was written for well-educated people in the 19th century and is filled with quotes from literature, mythology, and the Bible without any indication of source. This required extensive research and resulted in over two hundred footnotes. For readers who understand both English and Esperanto, I make bold to suggest that my Esperanto translation, being thus annotated, makes the work more accessible.

Telenio estas geja erotika romano en la stilo de la viktoriana epoko. La romano estas elstara pro tio ke ĝi verŝajne estis la unua geja romano en la angla lingvo. La libro prezentis nemalmultajn defiojn por la tradukinto, el kiuj la unua estis la problemo trovi necenzuritan version en la angla. La romano estis verkita por bone edukitaj homoj de la 19a jarcento kaj tial abundas je citaĵoj el beletraĵoj, mitologio kaj la Biblio sen fontindikoj. Tio postulis vastan esploradon, kiu resultis en pli ol ducent piednotoj. Por legantoj kiuj komprenas kaj la anglan kaj Esperanton, mi aŭdacas sugesti ke mia esperanta traduko, tiel prinotita, igas la verkon pli komprenebla.


Brief biography:
Born in Germany, I came to Canada as a child in the 1950’s. I was young enough to learn English to native-speaker proficiency, but old enough to remember when English was a foreign language. This linguistic awareness created an interest in languages in general. I studied French and German at Laurentian University, School of Translators and Interpreters, and after retirement I studied Spanish at Ryerson University. Esperanto is the only language that I managed to teach myself. Teleny is my third Esperanto translation, the first two being novels by Hermann Hesse, Demian, and Siddhartta, translated from the German. For those interested in learning Esperanto I’m also a tutor for the 10 lesson Free Esperanto Course.

Mi naskiĝis en Germanujo kaj venis al Kanado, kiel infano, en la 1950aj jaroj. Mi estis sufiĉe juna por lerni la anglan kiel denaskulo, sed sufiĉe aĝa por memori kiam la angla estis fremda lingvo. Tiu lingva konsciiĝo vekis intereson pri lingvoj ĝenerale. Mi studis la francan kaj germanan en la tradukista ernejo de Laurentian University, kaj post emeriteco mi studis la hispanan ĉe Ryerson University. Esperanto estas la ununura lingvo kiun mi sukcesis lerni aŭtodidakte. Telenio estis mia tria esperanta traduko. Antaŭe aperis du romanoj de Hermann Hesse, Demian kaj Sidarto, ambaŭ tradukitaj el la germana. Por anglalingvanoj kiuj volas lerni Esperanton, mi estas instruisto de la 10 leciona Free Esperanto Course.

Links to buy Detlef’s book:
My publisher is Mondial.
Mia eldonisto estas Mondial.

Also available at Amazon
Ankaŭ havebla ĉe Amazon
Demian and Sidarto – eBook and paperback

What are you working on now?
My next translation will be a novella by Stefan Zweig
Mia venonta traduko estos novelo de Stefan Zweig.