Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Everett Fox profiled

BIBLE TRANSLATOR: Tinkering With the Word of God (Avi Steinberg, The New Yorker).
[Everett] Fox has dedicated his life to giving the Anglophone ear a hint of that Hebrew drama. Many translators have tried, in one way or another, to make the Bible do in English what it does in Hebrew, but few have given top priority to the sound and feel of the original language. Fox uses every poetic means at his disposal: phrase length, line break, puns. He has paid particular attention to the word repetitions that the Biblical narrator uses to develop the story’s themes. He scrupulously preserves ancient Hebrew’s doubled verbs, which themselves sometimes double up (“you will overtake, yes, overtake, and will rescue, yes, rescue”). Orality is key to understanding the story, Fox believes, because the Bible, like many ancient texts, was designed to be sung and performed aloud. For Fox, the standard continues to be musical performance, with its openness to interpretation.
His translations of the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomistic History have been published so far.