Where Have You Been? PDF by Michael Hofmann – Book or TXT
Ome time which it did #and encourage a reader to buy poets books which it did Seidel and the behemoth #encourage a reader to buy poets books which it did Seidel and the behemoth Poetry Since 1788 Both have already proven their worth I loved this book because Hofman s claim to fame is translation from German and he sprinkles references to German authors and actual German through out I also loved it because I realized I had a set opinion on Ted Hughes Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop This book made me rethink that and go back to the poet s with a clearer eye and a open mind Hofman also reinforced my appreciation of others like Frederick Seidel and Berryman His digressions on Australian poetry and poets was nice He manages to convey joy and excitement like a impressionable novitiate while wrapped in the logic and wisdom of Grand Master 35 stars the urgency and narrowing purpose of midlife what the Germans call Torschlusspanik fear of the gate closing 17 Lowell was prescribed lithium which made it a little easier perhaps to control the symptoms He was upset and bemused by the disproportionate effect of what he termed the lack of a little salt in the brain 77 Lowell was able to do this to suggest meaning but not insist on it or fussily encode it 80 81 At the same time the writing never loses its plausibility it never looks like Roget s never proliferates into verbiage never makes mere mud 86 He saw the stewardess back down the aisle Smiling at seat belts 92 never arch and is sometimes sublime As bees summarise the garden 172 173 Of course I know anthologies aren t for reading straight through any than cars are for test driving or cosmetics are for lab mice but what else can ou do 178 ratherthe worse for war 181 a friend s obituary of one wa turned down 182 That s rough have become part of my mental furniture 220 Things may be out of kilter Chekhov and Yeats are largely about that but they still believe in kilter 245 and who knows probably logged his logs 263 The author is blowing into a wounded balloon 280 Acts of English literacy as curative consistently run throughout Where Have You Been a compilation of twenty five accounts illustrating the intensely personal relationship the writer shares with the
Written Word As With word As with healing there is pain Most tellingly the first section shows the writers themselves as they piece together the shards of their own lives through writing Andrea Dawn Bryant Leipzig GermanyThis book was reviewed in the November 2015 issue of World Literature Today Read the full review by visiting our website I m very glad I read this The writing is amazing The essays themselves arewellodd and interesting The author offers essays on writers I know and writers I don t know When he is writing about poets I learn a lot He seems to love poetry and poets and his writing about them reveals many surprises to me I read to learn and I learned a lot from this interesting collection of essays. Since Shakespeare Ted Hughes But he also illumines the despair of John Berryman and the antics of poetry's bogeyman Frederick Seidel In essays on art that are themselves works of art Hofmann's agile and brilliant mind explores a panoply of subjects from the mastery of translation to the best day job for a poet What these diverse gems share are the critic's insatiable curiosity and great charm Where Have You Been is an unmissable journey with literature's most irresistible flane. ,
His gives him huge credibility as a critic #He s super well read and a great critic though I think I would enjoy this if he #s super well read and a great critic though I think I would enjoy this if he cast his net broadly in this book at least a lot of the articles are about poets I m probably not actually going to get to sort of hofmann s what to read list not a book i d read cover to cover but valuable for his take on several poets that may have escaped our notice added several titlesauthors to my to read list based on these essays and so for that it s worth looking at I was rather rudely shocked by the first part of this book
I knew Hofmann entirely from his translations of German poets eg Gottfriedknew Hofmann entirely from his translations of German poets eg Gottfried and his glorious destruction of Stefan Zweig in the TLS which is reprinted here and deserves to be re read surely one of the greatest hit jobs in all of reviewery So imagine my dismay when I learned that Hofmann is actually a devotee of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop James Schuyler and Robert Frost among others By far the longest pieces here are devoted to Bishop and Lowell Something is up why is Hofmann s taste so excellent in German and so dubious in English It s not that Lowell and Bishop don t have their ualities They re both good poets But to set one s direction by them in this AD 2000 Really Anyway this volume disappointed me because I was expecting virulent attacks on the one hand and appreciations of cranks on the other But the only attacks were on Zweig which I d already read and a uickie on Grass which is too obvious to need repeating There are some nice appreciations of cranks though Seidel Bunting Murray Bernhard Walser much better The problem with these essays is that ou need to be in a very particular position with regard to any author before the essay and him or her can get any purchase on Safe With You First And Last 1 you I don t need to read 20 pages about Lowell or Bishop I don t want to read any pages on Hughes or Graham Only essays about those authors I already love Berryman Bernhard Bunting or those I know literally nothing about Kees Hamilton Solie were interesting This is mainly due to Hofmann s style which can be effective as in the Zweig piece but rather too often seems like a random cutting and pasting of facts or lines that stick in his mind You get a very good set of a very good writer s letters Graham was bracingly frank the sentences are often wonderful there are fine puns there are some extraordinary documents of friendship and solicitude with examples or extensions in the ellipses that s five paragraph masuerading as a paragraph and doesn t make for enjoyable reading This is perhaps a poet s problem Novelists I imagine aren t much good at enjambment why should poets be good at paragraphing And the examples are too short to tell a reader anything If only Hofmann would stick to reviewing books he hates by authors he loathes On the upside the best thing a collection of essays like this can do is kill They are also a story of love between a reader and his treasured books In the thirty essays collected here Hofmann brings his signature wit and sustained critical mastery to a poetic penetrating and candid discussion of the writers and artists of the last hundredears Here are the indispensable poets without which contemporary poetry would be unimaginable Elizabeth Bishop the poets' poets' poet the ghostly skill of Robert Lowell and the man he calls the greatest English poet. .
I only read one chapter my intention from the beginning the one titled Sharp Biscuit Some Thoughts on Translating I wanted to get some ideas on translating poetry that I can apply to my own translations of Indonesian poets #And I Did Hofmann Hedges #I did Hofmann hedges from the accepted ideas that a translator should not exist that a translator should not be seen or heard should just be a plate of glass I think anyone who has tried to translate something from another language knows this is impossible and that this is mostly an expectation of readers As Hofmann says the job of a translator is to be a ventrilouist s ventrilouist to say in another language what the author cannot He encourages the literal translation of idioms and expressions from the source language as well as the use of obscure English expressions or expressions from English dialects that are not known to the primary audience he even encourages the use of expressions from the translator s personal history or words that the translator has made up on the spot the caveat being that these approaches are permissible as long as they have meaning to the reader Frustration with translated works arises in readers as an angry impatience with the idea of there even being a translator as if a translator somehow violates the author s autonomy in zer creative output The dictum to be faithful to the original is about the reader s trust or distrust of the translator and zer interpretation than it is about integrity It s about politics Every reading is a translation Every translation will produce a slightly different meaning because there is never only one creative being involved Haven t read all of this but I know enough to know it s very good Books like this however I prefer to read in parts rather than as a whole Hoffman mostly reviews poetry and the writing though prose IS OFTEN POETIC I WASN T often poetic I wasn t with a couple of the poets Hofmann discussed in Part One of this collection Basil Bunting but Hofmann s language was something to relish nonetheless Some sentences I read only for their cadences and perfect balance and to participate in his infectious enthusiasm for the word He has turned me on to the poetry of WS Graham Part Two consisted of longer pieces that moved beyond poetry criticism The essay on translation was feisty and I enjoyed how he criticized other translators by contrasting their results the most derisive comparison I m thinking of might have been in another essay but Hofmann puts his multiglot knowledge to use in all his writing Other highlights The scathing criticism of Gunter Grass for the delinuent callow and insufficient revelations of how he spent his boyhood And the Stefan Zweig piece which was so over the top I almost wondered if it was facetious but I don t think so I just had no idea Stefan Zweig was so reviled by his fellow writers Hofmann is a great great translator and An adventure with a roving genius of literary criticismMichael Hofmann poet translator and intellectual vagabond has established himself as one of the keenest critics of contemporary literature Safely nestled between the covers of Where Have You Been he offers a hand to guide us and an encouraging whisper in our ear leading us on a trip through what to read how to think and why to like And while these essays bear sharp insights that will help us revisit writers with a fresh eye. .