What follows is an edited version of the discussion on the subject of Translation held last year at the Casa Ecco, Drue Heinz's villa on the Lake Como. Of these ongoing private seminars, this is the fourth conversazione to be published in these pages. Others have been on Humor (136), Travel and Travel Writing (147), and Literary Biography (151). The meetings, to which neither the public nor the press is invited so that the atmosphere remains vonvivial and relaxed, take place over a weekend--interspersed with trips on the lake and visits to restaurants in the hills. Usually they are chaired by Grey Gowrie, former head of the Arts Council of England. He was unable to attend this particular seminar, and his place was taken by Jonathan Galassi. The Panel is listed below.
DRUE HEINZ, Publisher of The Paris Review
JONATHAN GALASSI, Editor in Chief, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. His translation of Eugenio Mantale's Collected Poems received the 1999 Premio Montale in Italy.
MASSIMO BACIGALUPO, Professor of American literature, University of Genoa. His translation of William Wordsworth's Prelude received the Premio Internazionale Monsclice.
BARBARA BRAY, Her translations include Ismail Kadare's The File on H and Julia Kristera's Possessions.
MARGARET JULL COSTA, Her translation of Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet received the 1992 Portugese Translation Prize.
ADAM CZERNIAWSKI, Editor and translator of The Burning Forest, an anthology of Polish Poetry.
HANS MAGNUS ENZENSBERGER, His translations include Michael Hamburger's Selected Poems. He is the author and translator of Civil Wars from L.A. to Bosnia.
TONY HARRISON, His adaptation of Victor Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse, The Prince's Play, opened at the National Theatre in 1996.
SEAMUS HEANEY, His translation of Beowulf just received Britain's Whitbread Prize.
EVA HOFFMAN, She is the author of Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language.
TIM PARKS, His translations include Roberto Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony and Fleur Jaeggy's Last Vanities.
RICHARD STOKES, His translations include Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck and Richard Wagner's opera Parsiful.
CHARLES TOMLINSON, Editor and translator of The Oxford Book of Verse in Translation. His translations include Versions from Fyodor Tyutchev and Castilian Ilexes: Versions from Antonio Machado.