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READIN started out as a place for me
to keep track of what I am reading, and to learn (slowly, slowly)
how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
The site is a bit of a work in progress. New features will come on-line now and then; and you will occasionally get error messages in place of the blog, for the forseeable future. Cut me some slack, I'm just doing it for fun! And if you see an error message you think I should know about, please drop me a line. READIN source code is PHP and CSS, and available on request, in case you want to see how it works.
The hiss of the cicadas in the trees behind our house is at its peak this evening -- really reverberating through our entire second floor. (It's a sound I love, for which small mercy I give thanks.) As I was listening to the buzzing just now a new approach hit me to a problem of tense that I'd been batting around a few weeks ago:
EL MAESTRO DE TARCA (Ⅳ)
by Pablo Antonio Cuadra
Thus spoke el maestro
Catch the cicada
by its wing
you're holding in your hand
I believe this is both truer to the source and better sounding, more poetic, than what I had previously.
When my parents were dating, back these 40-some years ago, back at Berkeley, their song was "When I'm Sixty-Four." Well this week, my dad is 26 -- likely the last sixth power he will see, and the last power of two -- and mom is still needing him, still feeding him. Happy birthday, Dad!
The party is today in Modesto and I'm sorry I'm not there. Hope to see you guys soon!
In case you have not been following comments on my years-old threads (and really -- who could blame you?): Ben has convinced me to re-open the Novalis translation project that I started back in 2007 but never really got anywhere with. He has contributed some excellent suggestions regarding nearly all of the sentences in the poem's second stanza. Perhaps you started reading this blog sometime since 2007 and you would be interested in helping out with this project, if only you knew about it! -- Well, here is your chance. We're trying to improve on the various English translations of Novalis' poem Hymns to the Night, and we're trying to do it by committee. Take a look and see what you think.
Ben's working translation of the second hymn is below the fold.
Troublesome activity undermines the heavenly passage of Night.
Won’t the secret offering of love ever burn for ever?
Light’s time was measured out, but the power of the Night is timeless and
Holy Sleep, gladden not too seldom the Night’s servant in everyday work.
The span of sleep is endless.
Only fools misunderstand you and know of no sleep except that shadow that
in the half-light of genuine sleep you softly throw over us.
They aren’t aware of you in the nectar of the golden grape, in the almond
tree’s marvelous oil, and in the brown juice of the poppy.
They don’t know you are that which lingers around the bosom of the tender
maiden and makes a heaven in her lap; they have no idea that you open
a path to Heaven from the Old Stories, and that you carry the key to the
dwellings of the blessed,
One of my very favorite qualities of the Nielsen Hayden blog Making Light, is the way commenters there freely rewrite classic poetry in new voices and on new subjects. It is a highly literate crowd over there -- today they have been (spinning off of an exchange between Chris Clarke and Abi Sutherland at Google+) rewriting the greats to have reference to the world of blogging and newsgroups and social networks. Thomas speaks through Henry Reed:
Today we have naming of trolls. Yesterday
we had spam deletion. And tomorrow morning
We shall have what to do after banning. But today
Today we have naming of trolls. Economies
Totter world-wide toward bankruptcy
But today we have naming of trolls.
(And on the subject of Making Light: at the bottom of a week-old thread, a troll has inspired commenters to translate old favorites into Chinese via Google, with some fun results.)
Timothy Burke's blog dropped off my radar a couple of years ago... Today I happened back onto it by way of Russell Arben Fox -- I'm making it a regular stop on my politics reading list from now on, based just on the two topmost posts at the moment -- one of the most scathing bits of criticism of President Obama I've read yet, one that really articulates the disappointment I feel at his term in office; and a bedtime story for the Republicans in congress who are hell-bent on destroying our nation in service of an incomplete, ill-considered analogy of the national economy to a family's budget.
Last week, Sylvia finished up a bicycle repair class she's been taking at summer camp. Today, Tom Reingold, who taught the class, invited her over for a lesson in wheel-truing -- the last step to getting her new bike ridable. It is a blue Jamis Ranger of recent vintage which Tom found in his ramblings in need of lubrication and tuning-up, and a new seat. And it's all done! Sylvia took her first ride on it this evening.
I'm impressed -- I must have been 14 or 15 before I did a full tune-up on a bike. Click through for more pictures of the bike repair.
At The Hooded Utilitarian, the first posts have gone up in the new Illustrated Wallace Stevens roundtable, which will be ongoing over the next few weeks. Up first is Mahendra Singh's take on the totally seasonally appropriate Cuban Doctor. (Singh styles himself "An illustrator busily fitting Lewis Carroll into a protosurrealist straitjacket with matching dada cufflinks.")
posted morning of July 24th, 2011: Respond ➳ More posts about Comix
So I am reading some of the pieces in this edition of Two Lines (the one I mentioned yesterday) and it is making me feel very good to be included in this crowd. The quality of selections and of translation is just off the charts. And rereading my piece in this context, I honestly think it holds up, that it is of a like quality to the rest of the anthology. (Although almost the first thing I noticed was a problem of tense, a sentence that would have sounded much better with the addition of the word "had". Oh well, too late for revisions.)
Chris Andrews' translation of the opening of Varamo, by César Aira, had me laughing out loud on the train this morning, underlining passages ("the sequence was dense with meaning, but threatened from within by the infinite"! "the innocent look of an incoherent letter"! "Light dissolved the worries created by its dark twin, thought"!) and longing to read the whole thing.
Joanne Turnbull's translation of The Letter Killers, by Sigizmund Krzhinzhanovsky, again makes me want to read the whole book. The inklings of asemia contained in Krzhinzhanovsky's protagonist's method of composition have me dying to know where he goes from here.
Andrew Oakland translates Martin Reiner's meditation on "The Angel of Destruction" -- the Warsaw Pact troops entering Brno when Reiner was 4 years old, in kindergarten. Extremely powerful and, as Oakland asserts in his translator's note, it does not require much familiarity with Czech history to get the point.
Harry Thomas and Marco Sonzogni translate two poems by Primo Levi which have me wondering how come I have not read any Levi yet.