os exemplos de a tale of two cities comparando o original, a tradução de berenice xavier e a tradução em nome de sandra luzia couto podem despertar algumas dúvidas, não só sobre as curiosas coincidências entre as duas traduções, mas também sobre sua qualidade intrínseca. de fato, é inegável que berenice xavier derrapou algumas vezes, e não em pormenores insignificantes.
assim, achei muito pertinente o comentário do leitor jander, que aqui reproduzo.
"Uma dúvida (apesar de saber que você não indica traduções diretamente, mas veja que o caso é diferente): O próximo livro da Abril Coleções é Moby Dick e também foi traduzido por Berenice Xavier. Esses problemas, do Dickens, poderiam aparecer nessa tradução da Abril de Moby Dick ou temos apenas um caso isolado? Fiquei preocupado!"
minha posição pessoal a respeito da reedição de obras esgotadas de longa data se encontra na resposta ao comentário, no mesmo link acima. considero berenice xavier uma tradutora que teve papel importante nos anos 40 e 50, cujo trabalho (na média, bastante bom) merece ser resgatado e disponibilizado para toda a sociedade.
abaixo apresento duas páginas de moby dick, no original, na tradução de berenice xavier e na de péricles eugênio da silva ramos. cabe lembrar a tradução mais recente de irene hirsch e alexandre barbosa de souza (cosac naify, 2008), que ainda não tive ocasião de ler.
"Your hat, your hat, sir!" suddenly cried the Sicilian seaman, who being posted at the mizen-mast-head, stood directly behind Ahab, though somewhat lower than his level, and with a deep gulf of air dividing them.
But already the sable wing was before the old man's eyes; the long hooked bill at his head: with a scream, the black hawk darted away with his prize.An eagle flew thrice round Tarquin's head, removing his cap to replace it, and thereupon Tanaquil, his wife, declared that Tarquin would be king of Rome. But only by the replacing of the cap was that omen accounted good. Ahab's hat was never restored; the wild hawk flew on and on with it; far in advance of the prow: and at last disappeared; while from the point of that disappearance, a minute black spot was dimly discerned, falling from that vast height into the sea.
CHAPTER 131. The Pequod Meets The Delight.
The intense Pequod sailed on; the rolling waves and days went by; the life-buoy-coffin still lightly swung; and another ship, most miserably misnamed the Delight, was descried. As she drew nigh, all eyes were fixed upon her broad beams, called shears, which, in some whaling-ships, cross the quarter-deck at the height of eight or nine feet; serving to carry the spare, unrigged, or disabled boats.
Upon the stranger's shears were beheld the shattered, white ribs, and some few splintered planks, of what had once been a whale-boat; but you now saw through this wreck, as plainly as you see through the peeled, half-unhinged, and bleaching skeleton of a horse.
"Hast seen the White Whale?"
"Look!" replied the hollow-cheeked captain from his taffrail; and with his trumpet he pointed to the wreck.
"Hast killed him?"
"The harpoon is not yet forged that ever will do that," answered the other, sadly glancing upon a rounded hammock on the deck, whose gathered sides some noiseless sailors were busy in sewing together.
"Not forged!" and snatching Perth's levelled iron from the crotch, Ahab held it out, exclaiming—"Look ye, Nantucketer; here in this hand I hold his death! Tempered in blood, and tempered by lightning are these barbs; and I swear to temper them triply in that hot place behind the fin, where the White Whale most feels his accursed life!"
"Then God keep thee, old man—see'st thou that"—pointing to the hammock—"I bury but one of five stout men, who were alive only yesterday; but were dead ere night. Only THAT one I bury; the rest were buried before they died; you sail upon their tomb." Then turning to his crew—"Are ye ready there? place the plank then on the rail, and lift the body; so, then—Oh! God"—advancing towards the hammock with uplifted hands—"may the resurrection and the life—"
"Brace forward! Up helm!" cried Ahab like lightning to his men.
But the suddenly started Pequod was not quick enough to escape the sound of the splash that the corpse soon made as it struck the sea; not so quick, indeed, but that some of the flying bubbles might have sprinkled her hull with their ghostly baptism.
As Ahab now glided from the dejected Delight, the strange life-buoy hanging at the Pequod's stern came into conspicuous relief.
"Ha! yonder! look yonder, men!" cried a foreboding voice in her wake. "In vain, oh, ye strangers, ye fly our sad burial; ye but turn us your taffrail to show us your coffin!"
berenice xavier, josé olympio, coleção "fogos cruzados", aqui na 2a. ed. (1950)
péricles eugênio da silva ramos, ed. abril cultural (1972, aqui na ed. de 1983)