Friday, December 21, 2018

Alter vs Bob - round 1

I haven't seen Alter's translation - but I am sure I have been influenced by him since I have read some of his earlier work at least in part.

I worry about my literary prowess. Can a computational bible for the music compete with a literary one?

I see in the NYT an article on him with this rendering of Song 1:13: A sachet of myrrh is my lover to me,/all night between my breasts.

Mine is: An anguish of myrrh is my beloved to me. Between my breasts he will bide.

He leaves out the verb. He splits the verse with a pause when there is none (well there is a mordent or revia, but not an atnah) in the text. (The Song is marked from verses 9 to 17 by the haste of the music.)

We both manage some alliteration. His 'all night' is not in the text though the Hebrew word לון has assonance with 'night' ליל. I think that is really subtle, probably too subtle for an English reader. But I like the rationale for his decision.

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