Monday, October 15, 2012

Translation: "Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set"

Francis Bacon's Of Beauty has "Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set". What is exactly "best plain set"? According to leonAzul on this page, it means, best if placed against or in front of a plain setting or background. Hence my translation:


水天同, perhaps the best Chinese translator of Francis Bacon's works, has the same understanding, with this translation:


compared to others'

德行犹如宝石,朴素最美  <-- Not right
善犹如宝石,以镶嵌自然为美  <-- Correct
美德好比宝石,在幽暗背景的衬托下反而更显名贵  <-- Over-"translated"; where's 幽暗?

(The above Chinese translations are collected at fang's BLOG.)

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