He was the fourth son of Archibald Smollett of Bonhill , a judge and landowner who died about , and Barbara Cunningham, who died about He was educated at the University of Glasgow , where he qualified as a surgeon. Some biographers assert that he then proceeded to the University of Edinburgh , but left without earning a degree. His career in medicine came second to his literary ambitions; in he went to London to seek fortune as a dramatist. In he served as a surgeon during the disastrous campaign to capture Cartagena.
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His style is vigorous and hearty; his humor, broad to the point of farce, and often extremely coarse. His heartiness and coarseness, however evident in his own novels, are rarely perceptible in his translation, precisely because it is on the whole a very faithful one. Such a conception of translation leaves little leeway for the translator to impose his own conception of the character of the original. If we should define the poetry of Pope or Dryden from their translations alone, we should find we were omitting most of what distinguishes them from their contemporaries.
The accusation was first made by Alexander Tytler Lord Woodhouselee in his Essay on the Principles of Translation and has often been repeated. Carmine R. Parker pointed out in a brief but incisive review in Modern Language Review Such a note might also have said something about the interpretations of Don Quixote current in England in the eighteenth century, with a reference to the studies by Anthony Close.
A brief selective bibliography would also have been useful. One is that it fails to render the wide range of stylistic levels in the original. Elsewhere, Smollett keeps the Spanish name p. His errors are neither so numerous nor so grave as to lead the reader seriously astray.
The history and adventures of the renowned Don Quixote