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Thread: How Did You Get Here?

  1. #41
    Senior Member silverlifter's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Jeffers
    Jeffers is enjoying something of a (well deserved) renaissance it seems. There was a terrific essay in Harpers several months ago about him: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/09/...ers-tor-house/
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Seems like a solid base for further exploration. Thoreau writes incredible sentences, long and intricate, yet immediately understandable. Jeffers was a master of metaphor. Are you using 'The Purse Seine?'

    Dillard caused a sensation at the Key West conference years ago when she admitted that the cat with bloody paws (the striking image that opens A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) was fictional, based on a story someone told her. "I never had a cat," she said. Ka-BOOM!

    Which got me thinking about imaginary cats: Schrödinger's, for instance.
    I can imagine the Dillard sensation. By the time of Tim O'Brien, readers--students--were just plain pissed!

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Jeffers
    Jeffers is enjoying something of a (well deserved) renaissance it seems. There was a terrific essay in Harpers several months ago about him: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/09/...ers-tor-house/
    I'll check it out.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Jeffers
    Jeffers is enjoying something of a (well deserved) renaissance it seems. There was a terrific essay in Harpers several months ago about him: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/09/...ers-tor-house/
    I'll check it out.
    wow, this is a terrific essay

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  7. #45
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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Just reading it now, very interesting. I also have a Norton's Anthology at home (have been into and out of poetry all my life), but now I will have to thumb through the index to see if Jeffers graces any page.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Of course, it doesn't matter where you go in the world, good writing is good writing.
    Language being the raw material, it does matter as much as the choice of stone or wood or pigment. While translation can get the basic sense, it can miss the sound and music any decent writer has in their inner ear: the rhythm, the rhymes and near-rhymes, the parallel structure, the quick wit and humour, the cultural resonance.

    People are still striving to translate Homer, Sappho, and Dante, with heaps of footnotes, let alone Lao-Tzu, Basho, and Omar Khayyam.

    Even Shakespeare, writing in the purest English of his time, requires considerable explanation to come across in the present.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    You misunderstood my point completely. Translations always lack something, but I didn't say anything about translations. Implicit in my original statement is that the reader is a native reader.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    .... Implicit in my original statement is that the reader is a native reader.
    Especially those American roughs, writing and reading their backwoods vernacular!

    j/k

    I got your point. What American writers did you have a particular interest in?

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Of course, it doesn't matter where you go in the world, good writing is good writing.

    People are still striving to translate Homer, Sappho, and Dante, with heaps of footnotes, let alone Lao-Tzu, Basho, and Omar Khayyam.

    Even Shakespeare, writing in the purest English of his time, requires considerable explanation to come across in the present.
    I became interested in Omar Khayyam because I was studying illuminated letters such as this from The Rubaiyat:



    It was only much later when I read the read the Fitzgerald translation that I began to appreciate the work for other reasons. This lead me to collect the book and very early editions.

    This one dates from 1914:






    I have kept the image full size for detail.

    This run was of only 10 books and had gold leaf page edging but rough cut pages.


    eta. apologies are due to eachan, we seem to have moved more towards a discussion on literature than how we became interested in pens and writing.
    Last edited by Fermata; September 24th, 2021 at 10:15 AM.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    The thread has mutated into the AmLit variant....

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    No need for apologies, Fermata. Thread drift often leads to interesting discussions like this one.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Of course, it doesn't matter where you go in the world, good writing is good writing.

    People are still striving to translate Homer, Sappho, and Dante, with heaps of footnotes, let alone Lao-Tzu, Basho, and Omar Khayyam.

    Even Shakespeare, writing in the purest English of his time, requires considerable explanation to come across in the present.
    I became interested in Omar Khayyam because I was studying illuminated letters such as this from The Rubaiyat:

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment...8&d=1632480828

    It was only much later when I read the read the Fitzgerald translation that I began to appreciate the work for other reasons. This lead me to collect the book and very early editions.

    This one dates from 1914:

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment...9&d=1632480861

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment...0&d=1632480895

    I have kept the image full size for detail.

    This run was of only 10 books and had gold leaf page edging but rough cut pages.


    eta. apologies are due to eachan, we seem to have moved more towards a discussion on literature than how we became interested in pens and writing.
    I can't get these links to open...

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  19. #53
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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Of course, it doesn't matter where you go in the world, good writing is good writing.

    People are still striving to translate Homer, Sappho, and Dante, with heaps of footnotes, let alone Lao-Tzu, Basho, and Omar Khayyam.

    Even Shakespeare, writing in the purest English of his time, requires considerable explanation to come across in the present.
    I became interested in Omar Khayyam because I was studying illuminated letters such as this from The Rubaiyat:

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment...8&d=1632480828

    It was only much later when I read the read the Fitzgerald translation that I began to appreciate the work for other reasons. This lead me to collect the book and very early editions.

    This one dates from 1914:

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment...9&d=1632480861

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/attachment...0&d=1632480895

    I have kept the image full size for detail.

    This run was of only 10 books and had gold leaf page edging but rough cut pages.


    eta. apologies are due to eachan, we seem to have moved more towards a discussion on literature than how we became interested in pens and writing.
    I can't get these links to open...

    Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
    Apologies, I completely forget the correct procedure. I have gone back and inserted the images.
    Last edited by Fermata; September 24th, 2021 at 10:37 AM.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    That book is very cool. And one of ten! Way cool!

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Point taken. But I'd not be able to appreciate Lao Tzu, Basho, Dostoyevsky, Garcia Lorca, nor even Chaucer as a "native reader." Ever tackled Old English or even Middle English as written?

    Being deeply interested in language, I've studied Spanish, Mandarin, Diné (Navajo), and Mäori, as well as general linguistics and folklore, to gain some insight into how the speakers experience this world.

    Recently, and lacking a command of classical Greek, I've been comparing translations of Homer's Odyssey, e.g. Robert Fagles to Emily Wilson.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Recently, and lacking a command of classical Greek, I've been comparing translations of Homer's Odyssey, e.g. Robert Fagles to Emily Wilson.
    But not Fitzgerald?

  25. #57
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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Point taken. But I'd not be able to appreciate Lao Tzu, Basho, Dostoyevsky, Garcia Lorca, nor even Chaucer as a "native reader." Ever tackled Old English or even Middle English as written?

    Being deeply interested in language, I've studied Spanish, Mandarin, Diné (Navajo), and Mäori, as well as general linguistics and folklore, to gain some insight into how the speakers experience this world.

    Recently, and lacking a command of classical Greek, I've been comparing translations of Homer's Odyssey, e.g. Robert Fagles to Emily Wilson.

    My apologies, I was being too harsh on you. I think that an additional statement should add that some ideas require their original language for proper expression. I can read some older English, but that is largely because it was taught in the upper streams (as they were called then) at my school. Chaucer was read in the original, and of course in the UK if you have any interest in visiting museums and other archives you gain a familiarity with a variety of earlier English variants and their associated scripts. I struggle to read anything written in gothic script, the lettering dazzles my eye for some reason.

    Regarding the Rubaiyat and the translation of Fitzgerald, a few years ago we had several Farsi speaking doctoral students here, so I asked them about fidelity in the translation and they told me there was a lot of depth missing. I still like it though as it is probably the best English version available. Had a lovely Folio Society version, but gave it away to an American lady friend.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    But not Fitzgerald?
    Had a Persian landlady, Mehrangiz Roshangar, who taught me a rich variety of curses in Farsi and the names of her favorite dishes, but little else.

    I've got Fitzgerald's Iliad on my shelf and have read his Odyssey, but don't have a copy. Perhaps I loaned it, alas. I used his Iliad as the basis for a paper on water metaphors, comparing a charge in battle to a flood, etc. Read an article on how the repetitive description (wine-dark sea) functioned as a mnemonic device in an oral setting. Hard to imagine reciting it from memory, but I'm glad it was done.

    Comparing translations of Dante is also fascinating. Longfellow, Cary, Norton, Mandelbaum, Ciardi, the Hollanders, and ever on. One pivotal issue is whether to attempt a terza rima scheme in English, which is notably poor in end rhymes. Most translators don't try.

    This isn't the sort of discussion one anticipates online, but I relish it: thanks!
    Last edited by Chip; September 25th, 2021 at 01:33 PM.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    I love Fitzgerald's Odyssey. I taught it for many years. So compressed. Fagles not so much. And Lattimore I loathed. But, to each their own.

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    Default Re: How Did You Get Here?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    I love Fitzgerald's Odyssey.
    You ought to give this a go. The language is not as majestic as Fitzgerald's, but is perhaps truer to the original sense.


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