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Translation

In response to:

The Brother of Us All from the June 1, 1967 issue

To the Editors:

In your issue of 1 June, in the review by Roger Shattuck of two books on Rimbaud, he quotes:

Qu’à jamais j’oublie.
Le temps dont on s’éprenne.

as translated:

May it come, may it come
The time we will fall in love with

which is completely inaccurate. The French says (and means):

May I forever forget
Time of which one falls in love
Anne Fremantle

Paris

Roger Shattuck replies:

I am grateful to Anne Fremantle for having caught an oversight in my Rimbaud review. It is not an inaccuracy in translation. The French for the first line she cites should have read, “Qu’il vienne, qu’il vienne” (I am obliged to quote from memory) from Rimbaud’s other version of the same poem. The English is then correct. Miss Fremantle also offers her own translation of the second line. I hear “Le temps” as meaning a limited period of time; it might mean time in general as she chooses to read it. But I cannot believe she intends to suggest that s’éprendre de should come into English as “fall in love of.”

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