Poetry: Divine Comedy : Acknowledgements | clivejames.com
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My thanks are due to both of my publishers, Robert Weil at Liveright in New York, and Don Paterson at Picador in London. Each of them saw the text before it was finished and to neither of them did it occur that I might be overambitious for wanting to press on to a conclusion: or if it did, they didn’t say so. In America, Dennis Looney agreed to vet the text: not necessarily a comfortable offer from my angle, because his standards of scholarship are high. His numerous corrections on points of fact have all been incorporated into the text, and his remarks about interpretation have been listened to at the very least: sometimes, after thinking it over, I simply decided he was right, and sat down to recast a line or even more. I should insist, though, that any moments of excess or carelessness are my responsibility. For his scrutiny of my versification, once again I thank Don Paterson, who has supervised my last two books of verse for Picador: to have his fine ear on the case is a great privilege. An even greater privilege was to have my family looking after me when I fell ill. The actual translation was already done, but the whole business of finalizing the text has taken place during the period of my bad health, and if I had not been looked after I would not have lived to see the book made ready for the press. In that regard, my particular thanks should go to my elder daughter, Claerwen, who made crucial suggestions about the order of events in the preliminary pages.