The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I was reading Valery complain that Baudelaire made a mistake when writing "D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble" for the arcane reason that it has 7 syllables and should have 8. Valery says 5+5+7 is not harmonious while 5+5+8 is. (So he felt it should be "D'aller vivre là-bas ensemble"). As I contemplated this I got excited about the possibilities of an English line like

To go there together to live

Following Nabokov's second-languaged delight in coincidences like "as the psychotherapist as well as the rapist will tell you." Sadly a lot of translators seem to have seen nothing in that.