RESPONSE: Slavitt on Franko on Slavitt
Fred Franko [BMCR 96.04.18] writes: "Mostellaria, is the most famed of the plays in this volume. It has been translated fairly frequently and is often assigned in college courses for classics or the history of the theatre. Since I cannot read this play with the eyes of an undergraduate, I asked the six students in a classics course here to read and compare the first eight pages of this translation by Palmer Bovie with the first eight of Erich Segal's translation. It was a ridiculously small survey of the student market, true, but not without value. Five of the six expressed a strong preference for Segal's."
This is a new venture into democratic criticism is interesting but only a timid first step. Why just undergraduates? Why not people from Hollins's excellent buildings and grounds crew? And those driving by on the highway or working down at the road at the Seven-Eleven surely have a point of view, even less sophisticated and therefore more reliable and sincere.
Dean Swift, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
David R. Slavitt