Books: Couriers of the Human Spirit

Translators give new life to foreign literature

Few novels in recent years have intrigued Americans so thoroughly as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Yet readers of this mock medieval mystery tend to forget that the words are not the author's own; they are the creation of that most invisible, yet most indispensable, figure in world literature: the translator. The man who ingeniously rendered The Name of the Rose into English from the Italian is William Weaver, one of a number of outstanding translators currently enlarging the literary horizons of the English-speaking world....

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