BE. Witter Bynner

8. ‘Translating the Orient’. Review of Poetry of the Orient, edited by Eunice Tietjens. Bookman (New York) 69 (April 1929): 186-90.

  Reprinted in Prose Pieces.  

Bynner’s distaste for Japan while he was in the country translated into a distaste for most Japanese literature as well (though see 7). Of work in this collection, Hitomaro (Ap), in spite of the ‘earnest efforts’ of Waley (see D26) and others, ‘takes on no stature in English’, and after Bynner has ‘ploughed through’ Pound’s version of Zeami’s ‘dull’ play Nishikigi (BK8), he has ‘wondered again’ why the nô is ‘so solemnly impressive to Japanese intellectuals’. Includes reference to Noguchi’s translation of Moritake’s rakka eda ni (see D15e6), the poem from which Pound derived his theory of super-position (see BK12), along with translations by Hearn (see D9), Chamberlain (D5), and others of poems by Chiyo (1703-75, see also BD40) and Sosei (fl. 859-97). Perpetuates the misattribution of Issa’s (Ap) tsuyu no yo wa (The world of dew . . . ) to Buson (Ap), a mistake first made by Snow (in A12) and repeated by Tietjens. Reprinted in 19.





Home | Top | Previous | Next

Previous | Next


Creative Commons License