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This article is taken from PN Review 13, Volume 6 Number 5, May - June 1980.

Philip Larkin
Some years ago I had the honour to serve briefly as a literary adviser to the N.E.B. What I think the panel of translators had in mind was that occasional cruces should be referred to a literary adviser who would suggest a felicitous way of expressing the point in question, but I found it virtually impossible to work like this: the whole text seemed to me lacking in vitality, rhythm, distinction and above all memorability, and I found myself revising almost every sentence-not, I hasten to say, in the direction of poetic prose, but simply, as I thought, into something more forceful. Very likely I was deluding myself: in fact after about a year they quietly stopped sending me anything, so I presume I had been weighed in the balance and found wanting. However, during those months I certainly conceived a lively impatience with the text of the New English Bible, which makes me very willing to sign and return your statement.

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