Derek Mahon has devoted much of his productive life to translation, especially from the French. This paper studies his handling of French texts, distinguishing those which he has freely recreated from those which he has assimilated to his own style and those where he has made himself subservient to the character of the original author. Attention is drawn to his inventiveness, his wit, his moderation and rationality, his concern for effective and relevant communication with the reader, his rhythmic sense and his concern for emphasis and coherence. It is argued that the practice of translation affords Mahon the opportunity to write "at one remove" from direct feeling, and in so doing to combine breadth of feeling and of cultural reference with self-awareness and self-discipline
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