Neil Rathmell – writer

150+ essays on literary topics

Tag Archives: translation

A short story by Giovanni Verga

A young Sicilian woman called Nedda declares, at the end of a short story by Giovanni Verga, that it is better to be dead than alive and thanks the Holy … Continue reading

June 8, 2016 · 2 Comments

Better sung

Oscar Wilde’s one act play, Salomé, is better known as an opera by Richard Strauss. The same is true of Pelléas et Mélisande, the play by Maurice Maeterlinck that became … Continue reading

December 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Reader’s Diary – 12 February 2014

I am still reading Kilvert’s Diary a little at a time, which is I think the way it should be read, and keep coming across little gems of descriptive prose, … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 1 Comment

A Reader’s Diary, 20 November 2013

Chris Campbell has done a better job of translating Molière’s Tartuffe than I did when, a long time ago, it was one of my set books for A level French. … Continue reading

November 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

A literary tourist

‘What distinguishes the Cambridge English course,’ according to the university website, ‘is its balance between a solid grounding in the essentials of the discipline, and the opportunity to specialise and … Continue reading

August 7, 2013 · Leave a comment


Rabindranath Tagore wrote poems, plays and stories, but he was above all a poet. He wrote in Bengali and, like all poets, he defies translation. He won the Nobel Prize … Continue reading

April 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Mussel Feast

People travel more easily than books. You can get by on your holiday with a phrase book, but if you don’t know the language you can only read a book … Continue reading

March 23, 2013 · Leave a comment