Public Group active 11 months, 2 weeks ago
I am very glad and thankful for being invited to this group. I have been studying and analyzing Walden for almost 15 years. I have many notes and comments I would love to share. I would also love to hear from other Thoreau translators across the globe. I had always dreamed of such a discussion between Thoreau’s translators in different languages.
Let us allow Thoreau’s soul to bring our souls together.
Ali from Iran
I’ve already done it privately but, being this my first post, I’d like to publicly thank Professor Paul Schacht @digitalthoreau for having opened this group after my request. I hope it will be a place for translators all over the world to help each other in their effort of conveying Thoreus’s words and ideas into other languages. I think this group might also be a place to discuss about translations – old and new – of Thoreau’s works.
To Mr. Taghdarreh @alireza: I’ve just heard your name today after Professor Schacht told me that you have translated Walden into Farsi and he would have invited you to join this group; so, out of curiosity, I googled your name and I read a couple of articles about you and then watched the video of your presentation at the headquarters of the Walden Woods Project. I was just blown away by your story and I felt incredibly sorry for myself for not having heard about you before. I find your example, both as a translator and as a human being, really inspiring. I hope that more people will join the conversation and make the most of the help of translators like you and scholars like Professors Schacht.
Dear Gaetano, It was one of my dreams to speak with other translators of Walden across the world. I am thankful to Dr. Sacht for providing this opportunity for us. Thank you very much for your very kind words about me. Thoreau was a great inspiration in my life.
Is it possible for you to read a passage from Walden in Italian for me? I would very much love to hear Walden in your translation and see how it sounds in your beautiful language. I will mention one of my favorite paragraphs if I find you can do this favor.
I have spent a very long time on Walden. I am still reviewing the book with extreme care. I have been able to discover several puns and allusions in Walden. One was an allusion to Julius Caesar which had remained hidden to Thoreau’s readers in the past. It has been published in one of the former issue of The Thoreau Society Bulletin.
I am very interested to hear your story, to know what it was that tempted you to read and translate Walden.
Dear Mr. Taghdarreh,
I don’t think that my personal story is worth any interest, and the same goes for the way I discovered Thoreau, which I think was very ordinary; but beacause you ask I’ll try to answer, being as brief as possible. I read Walden for the first time when I was about 15, unaware of how that book would have accompanied me for the rest of my life one way or another, and of the profound impact it would have had on my way of living and of looking at the world. I was just one of the many young persons all over the world who, over the last 150 years, got fascinated by words that even now, in my forties, I fail to fully grasp. Fast forward twenty-five years or so: after having been an interpreter and a translator for some time – a job I started doing when attending university – I had to find another way to earn my living, but I never stopped translating bits and pieces of Thoreau and other authors just for my own pleasure, and songs and whatever else now and then. Over time even the idea of translating the Journal has been making its way into my mind, but I’ve always fended it off because of the utmost love and respect I have for Thoreau and translation – you may call it fear, which it probably is. I finally decided this year that it might be worth giving myself a chance to try and put the foundation under this immense “castle in the air” that I’ve built – though I expect a crushing defeat. Anyway… Too much talking about me, but let me add one last thing: given the aforementioned love and respect I have for Thoreau as a great author and for translation as a serious and important discipline, I want to clearly state that, being myself neither a scholar nor a professional – not anymore, at least – every contribution I will give to the discussion about those two subjects will be in fact that of a non-scholar and non-professional, without any claim of being anyting other than that – though I’ll try to be as accurate and precise as possible.
That said, I will be happy and honoured, Mr. Taghdarreh, to read a paragraph – or more – of Walden in Italian for you, if you want; let me know which one and I’ll send it to you as soon as possible. I’ll browse the Internet Archive and see if I can find a copy of the Bulletin with your article, beacuse it seems a really interesting subject.
– Gaetano M.
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