Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ovid, Don Quixote and unfullfilled ambition.

I've mentioned translations before. Things lost as well as found when work is changed from one language to another. I'm reading Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes amongst other things at the moment and note that the translation by Edith Grossman took two years to complete and she was as nervous showing her work to the world as any author might be. 

Don Quixote is one of those books that you might read or you might decide, given its size, you won't bother with. I know parts of it that have been used to demonstrate points in writing classes. I'll see how  go on with reading all of it.

Speaking of translations, I have used In Summer's Heat In my classes over the past couple of weeks. This poem by Ovid, translated by Christopher Marlowe describes a sexy afternoon. Timeless and relevant in the time of Ovid as well as Marlowe and now. Do read it. 

Which brings me to my subject which is people who didn't shine as they might have done. Christpher Marlowe, clever, feisty peer of William Shakespeare was killed in an undignified fight. Who knows what amazing plays he might have penned or what other work he might have translated. Rupert Brooke, beautiful boy poet and soldier didn't live through WW1 and his war poems don't have the bite and bitter taste of reality contained in the poems of Owen, for example.

Imagine a character from any world, not just the arts, whose talent didn't materialize for any kind of reason. Write about them from the point of view of someone who knew them or still knows them. What talent did they have? Why didn't it materialize? 

A very interesting picture may emerge.