I was reading Lewis Beale's article on Edith Grossman and her new translation of "Don Quixote" ("In Other Words, That's What She Does," Nov. 30), ready to agree and acknowledge her eminence in her field, but then you provided rival translations of chapter one excerpts of Cervantes' novel -- one by John Rutherford, the other by Grossman.
Even in one paragraph it is evident the woman has no ear.
Translation, in literature, is crucial. Stephen Mitchell's translations of Rilke changed our appreciation of that poet. Francis Steegmuller's translation of Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" drew a new and appreciative audience for that masterpiece.
Grossman may be accurate, but if this excerpt is typical she's diminished Cervantes. He provided a strong and vital book. What she gives back, compared to the Rutherford translation, is thin, pallid and tuneless.
While I was pleased to read about Edith Grossman's fine translation of "Don Quixote," Lewis Beale should be admonished for characterizing Miguel de Cervantes' masterpiece as a "classic picaresque novel."