With Cervantes, there's 400 years of scholarship behind me. And . . . I used to have nightmares about hoards of Hispanists coming out of universities and attacking me for what I had done to this book. But there are somme wonderful, wonderful editions of Don Quixote in Spanish . . . I used the first edition, which is full of all the mistakes that Cervatnes tried to correct for the second printing. . . . [The notes to this edition] are so good and so informative and so unpedantic that they're, they're an expression of real profound scholarship.
I normally don't pick what I translate. I have tried to persuade publishers over the years to publish certain authors . . . and any author I recommend is immediately forgotten. And so I've decided the best favor I can do for writers I like is never, never, never mention their name to a publisher. . . . So I'm called by the publisher or by the author's agent to do the work.
In this Lit&Lunch event, hear Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass discuss his translations of Japanese haiku and Czeslaw Milosz.
From Basho to Buson, Hass has created fresh, new translations of some of the most celebrated verse from Japan's centuries-old haiku tradition. Here he discusses his difficulties with learning Japanese, as well as the stories behind some of Japan's most intriguing poems.
Hass also discusses and reads from his translations of his close personal friend, the Nobel-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz.