Samuel Putnam  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
A. R. Allinson, List of translators into English

Samuel Putnam (1892-1950) was an American translator and scholar of Romance languages. He was known for his Leftist leanings (he was a columnist for "The Daily Worker"). His most famous work is his 1949 English translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote. It is the first version of the work in what we would consider contemporary English; although there is still use of archaic language in the translation, it is more restricted than in earlier English versions of the work. The language is formal when spoken by educated characters, but seldom old-fashioned, while the peasant characters speak in colloquial modern English. Putnam worked on the translation for twelve years before he published it. He also published a companion volume, The Portable Cervantes, which included an abridged version of his translation, in addition to English versions of two of the Novelas ejemplares of Cervantes. Putnam's complete translation, originally published by Viking Press, was reprinted in the Modern Library, and has seldom been out of print since its publication nearly sixty years ago. He was also a noted translator of Rabelais.

Putnam is the father of noted American philosopher Hilary Putnam.

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