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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 21, No. 8. 2nd July, 1958

French and Literary Club Flop

French and Literary Club Flop

On Tuesday (10th) a most fruitless evening was held under the combined auspices of the French Club and the Literary Society. The guest speaker, Mr. Arthur Barker, delivered a 90-minute paper supposedly on the "Art of Translation". If the purpose of the paper was to illustrate to University students the difficulties involved in the translation of poetry then I suppose that the paper was unexcitingly successful. However, as is more than probable, the audience, having at some stage of their careers been secondary school pupils, were already fully acquainted with the problems and methods of handling them in poetry translation.

Tedious poem followed tedious poem to the extent that "Salient" felt that cither the speaker was acting on instructions or had underestimated his audience's range of comprehension and interest. Comments from the floor followed the object of either disagreeing with the translation or discrediting the poems. The broader aspect of the method adopted was mentioned but only fleetingly.

In informal discussion following supper Mr. Bertram attempted to introduce—either consciously or unconsciously—the topic of University specialisation as it applied to the Language student. The comments on this topic illustrated an appallingly egotistic attitude of the audience. They were limited in their discussion to "what 'I' can 'get' out of a knowledge of other languages."

"Salient" would remind irate readers (if they are so moved) that this is not anything but a report of proceedings.

Incidentally the supper provided was very good—almost saved the evening.