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She Doesn’t Protest

Colin Burrow: The Untranslatable Decameron, 12 March 2009

Decameron 
by Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by J.G. Nichols.
Oneworld, 660 pp., £12.99, May 2008, 978 1 84749 057 5
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... pile-ups followed by dry punchlines can seem by turns mannered and brutal, especially if, as J.G. Nichols generally does in this new version, the translator painstakingly follows the sentence structure of the original. His translation sounds too rigidly on duty. It sometimes marches when Boccaccio is dancing, and sometimes is just plain flat when the original ...

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