The Prince, By Niccolo Machiavelli, trs Tim Parks
Sunday 05 July 2009
This is an excellent translation of The Prince by Parks, accessible and gripping without diluting Machiavelli's message one iota. His sense of this masterpiece as an essentially psychological work, one that looks at the effects of power of the mind, infuses his translation, and he never forgets its origins as a letter, as a means of conveying a message to a new ruler.
Parks shows, too, in his introduction, how amenable this text has been to both right- and left-wingers over the centuries: the right saw it as a warning about the power of the people, the left as a vindication.
Certainly, there are many passages, too,such as the one warning leaders of indecisiveness, which one suspects should be circled in red and handed to the present Prime Minister.
Machiavelli was showing how to achieve power and hold on to it: his ethical treatise was centred solely on this, which is what long frightened so many who were trying to impart notions of good and bad, not powerful and powerless.
I searched in vain for a section on MPs' expenses, though: financial probity seemingly wasn't important to leaders in the 16th century, either.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
Guardians of the Galaxy review: A superficial and half-hearted Marvel film
Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants revealed: Meet the baker's dozen
R Kelly 'dropped' from Ohio music festival following backlash
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >