[Home]LeTonBeauDeMarot

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Le Ton Beau de Marot - In Praise of the Music of Language is a book by DouglasHofstadter about, amongst other things, form and content, and the extent to which content can be translated into different forms. He seems to believe that form and content should be interwoven finely, and that perfect translation is ultimately impossible. It is at least an AiComplete problem, in that it boils down to the fundamental AI question, "When are two things (here two translations) the same?".

For example, a book cannot really be a translation of a web site, because a web site - a good web site - would use hyperlinks which books, being linear, cannot express.

The bulk of the book is taken up with multiple translations of a short, 16th century French poem - over 70 translations of the same thing, each trying to remain faithful to the essence of the original, yet exhibiting unique qualities.

The book has been criticized, however, for containing a lot of self-indulgent auto-biographical material about the author and his recently deceased wife, and being in need of some heavy editing. It has also been said that it repeats many ideas from his previous books.


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