Sir: Mr. Nabokov’s August 4 essay, “The Art of Translation,” contains a beautiful example of the Art of Misquotation.
He refers to a line from “L’Invitation au Voyage” as “Mon amie, ma soeur, connais-tu la douceur….” Poor Baudelaire! The Russian translator didn’t do so badly.
“Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur….”
New York City
Sir: I am sorry that a poor memory led me to make a “friend” of that child; but Mr. Nash is quite wrong in assuming that by correcting my quotation he has baudelairized the Russian version: that little joy-ride goes on undisturbed.
Palo Alto, Calif.