Books February 2023
A review of Red and Black by Stendhal (Author), Raymond N. Mackenzie (Translator).
The question is why?
Why come out with a new translation of a classic (in this case, Stendhal’s 1831 novel The Red and The Black—or Red and Black, or Scarlet and Black, according to how each translator chooses to render Le Rouge et le Noir) that has already had quite a few major English translations, including a spate of them rather recently? Two appeared in 1898: one by E. P. Robins, the other by Horace Tergie, and another, in 1913, by Horace B. Samuel. C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s excellent 1926 version for many decades provided the standard, but eventually it began to seem dated. Margaret R. B. Shaw brought out a new translation for Penguin Classics in 1953, supposed to supersede Scott Moncrieff’s, and...
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