More specifically concerning: translation
31.03.02 – Sunday
31 March 2002, around 21.10.
Still reading Waley’s translation of Genji, with which we ‘are not best pleased,’ to borrow Waley’s idiom. (There are also several printers’ errors sprinkled liberally throughout the text, tho’ in our generous spirit we pretend not to mind them — but I hear there’s a new translation on the market…) However: A simple Chinese verse […]
22 February 2003, around 8.08.
From an English rhyming dictionary, with Latin translations, compiled by Peter Levins in 1570 (EETS #27, 1867): In arke An Arke, archa, æ. ye Barke of a trée, cortex, icis, hic. Carke, care, cura, cogitatio. A Clarke, clericus, i. A Larke, alauda, æ, galarita, æ. A Marke, signum, scopus, i. A Parke, damarium, vivarium. A […]
Terrible learning, Mr. Newman
29 April 2003, around 7.34.
Correctly,—ah, but what is correctness in this case? This correctness of his is the very rock on which Mr. Newman has split. He is so correct that at last he finds peculiarity everywhere. The true knowledge of Homer becomes at last, in his eyes, a knowledge of Homer’s ‘peculiarities, pleasant and unpleasant.’ Learned men know […]
20 November 2003, around 10.08.
Into my heart an air that kills From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went And cannot come again. (from […]
fruits & spoils
7 August 2010, around 14.51.
The nourishing fruit of the historically understood contains time as a precious but tasteless seed.1 While content and language form a certain unity in the original, like a fruit and its skin, the language of the translation envelops its content like a royal robe with ample folds.2 —Walter Benjamin (Illuminations) ‘Theses on the Philosophy of […]
27 December 2013, around 8.35.
The reproductive instinct urges the poet to scatter his seeds beyond his boundaries. I repeat it: poorly transmitted, they fructify. Certain species (Pushkin) refuse transmission. But this does not prevent them from scattering at large and even when reduced to insignificance, from fructifying. Shakespeare remains the model of the explosive plant. His seeds have taken […]
4 January 2017, around 6.13.
…she was like a book without any pictures. In other words, the kind of person who, unless you brought your whole soul to bear in reading them, would remain forever unknowable (116). A fall through the ice shapes the story. It is dramatic, inexplicable – and unexplained. The narrator is walking a dog, and then, […]
13 September 2019, around 8.27.
the war of the professionals and amateurs.
bridging the gap
22 June 2021, around 10.56.
This a juxtaposition of two quotations about the philosophical necessity for cognitive leaps, from Claude Lévi-Strauss and Henri Bergson.
a note on the translation
2 September 2021, around 14.33.
Книгу занимательную вы проглотите слишком скоро, она слишком врежется в вашу память и воображение; перечесть ее уже невозможно. Книга скучная, напротив, читается с расстановкою, с отдохновением — оставляет вам способность позабыться, мечтать; опомнившись, вы опять за нее принимаетесь, перечитываете места, вами пропущенные без внимания etc. Книга скучная представляет более развлечения. —Pushkin, ‘Thoughts on the Road/Journey […]
Lettuce now: tend to our garden
1 April 2022, around 4.47.
A partial and incomplete consideration of Latin words for crucifers.
3 November 2023, around 9.13.
‘The Putrefaction of the Flesh of the Dying Emperor Galerius’, about 1413–1415 (Ms. 63, fol. 258) It is a short step from reading about how the early Greek philosophers tried to make sense of the world (and how scholars throughout the ages have tried to make sense of early Greek philosophers) to reading medical texts […]
the same river
4 December 2023, around 16.04.
When we write a letter, we experience a strange space. To the friends and spouses we use the most informal language with, we suddenly become very formal. I wonder if the poem’s speaker also lives in such a space, a space that is of our daily lives and yet is separate or different from it […]