Literary Nonfiction. Literary Criticism. Translation. Michael Palma, one of the outstanding translators of Dante in our time, discusses the art of translation and literary companionship in eleven genial and witty essays, plus an interview. In the first section, Palma discusses his Italian heritage and its relationship to his becoming a translator, the comparative merits of different styles of translation and his own methods in rendering poetry from one language to another. The second section consists of tributes to four friends and mentors, including the distinguished poet-translators John Frederick Nims and Daniel Hoffman. The third section is an interview with the author by Marc Alan Di Martino:"Q. Have you ever given up, driven to despair by the difficulty of translating?A. In Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run, his character answers the prison psychiatrist's question 'Do you think sex is dirty?' with 'It is if you're doing it right.' Translation is always difficult if you're doing it right."
Michael Palma is an Italian-American author and translator who lives in Vermont. His poetry collections in English include FAITHFUL IN MY FASHION: ESSAYS ON THE TRANSLATION OF POETRY (Xenos Books / Chelsea Editions, 2016), The Egg Shape (Archival Press, 1972), A Fortune in Gold (Gradiva, 2000) and Begin in Gladness (Star Cloud Press, 2011). His many translations of modern Italian poets include the prize- winning volumes of Guido Gozzano, The Man I Pretend To Be, and Diego Valeri, My Name on the Wind, both published by Princeton University Press. He has contributed translations to Luciano Erba's The Metaphysical Streetcar Conductor (Gradiva, 1998) and Alfredo de Palchi's ADDICTIVE AVERSIONS (Xenos Books, 1999) and PARADIGM (Chelsea Editions, 2013). His rhymed translation of Dante's Inferno was published by Norton in 2002 and reissued as a Norton Critical Edition in 2007.Author City: BELLOWS FALLS, VT USA