||[Oct. 16th, 2006|02:29 am]
|What's it like to be an unnoted Kraut scholar?
||[Mar. 30th, 2005|11:46 pm]
Oskar Seyffert, one of the billlion "noteworthy" Kraut scholars of the 19th century, makes the following pronouncement on Virgil's Aeneid:|
"The endeavor to portray a real hero was beyond the capacity of the gentle,
almost womanly, character of the poet; Aeneas is a true hero neither in endurance nor in action."
|How long we gonna be ridin'?
||[Feb. 15th, 2005|10:15 pm]
Lately I've been thinking about my father. In a few months he'll be turning fifty-nine. He doesn't look his age, nor is his curly black Italian hair completely gray -- but it's getting there. While he remains my father, he is also becoming something new to me: an old man. It makes no difference that people are living longer than ever before or that he has been in pretty good shape all his life. He neither smokes and hardly drinks (there was never alcohol in our house until my brother and later I started buying it -- and even now it still makes me a little ashamed that I do). He works, still, with his hands. In his forty-first year of work, he still supports his family. I remember how sometimes I would still be up in the early dawn when he'd get up for work. The coffee-maker would come on, the cats would wake up to watch him, and I would sit in my room, listening to him as he got ready to leave. Eventually the door would open and close. I'd hear the car engine start in the garage out in the back yard and the sound of the wheels (first on gravel, later on pavement) and then he'd be gone. Twelve or thirteen hours later he would come home. I'd be well-rested, he'd be exhausted. And for him this sequence of events has happened for forty-one years.|
And yet, sometimes I wonder if I know this man who has worked so hard and asked for so little. Am I like him? Would a stranger see a resemblance of the father in his son? At 24, I still groan at having to work even a part-time job. I've never heard him complain about work -- not once. We share a lot of interests: computers, science fiction, animals, the outdoors, history. But as I've grown older and moved out of the house, I've moved farther from him (while I've remained close to my mother, my best friend). I can't explain why: I love my father as any son does. And I know I share many of the same personality traits. But when I call home, sometimes he picks up, or sometimes he'll want to talk to me, and it's uncomfortable. I can't explain it.
|She smiled all in her countenance, "They call me Jackaroe."
||[Feb. 13th, 2005|12:06 pm]
I sat in bed for the past twenty minutes, repeatedly turning my cell phone's "alarm clock" off. My mind was on that poet of ours, our darling, the formulaic Hesiod! Here's my basic commentary.|
It is not at all clear that Hesiod actually had a "craft" to speak of. Yes, epithets and other formulaic repetitions abound. And yes, there is "anachronism" -- of course, the "theogony" had been completed and transmitted to Hesiod courtesy of the the Muses, who live on the high peaks of snowy Olympus! Snould we count anachronism as artistic merit? Was Hesiod at all in doubt that his audience would expect that, indeed, it's "starry Ouranos" or "wily Kronos" that rule on the mountain? I don't think so. If I were to write a history of my life, for example, when dealing with my childhood I would almost surely interpose anachronistic references: "One of my first memories is seeing Return of the Jedi at the theater. I loved it -- and even to this day I still count myself as a fan." Something as simple as that. Call that art, kids, and write a commentary on that! I therefore conclude, as my reasoning above suggests, that anachronism is not worthy of being called "artistic merit!"
And shame on our professor for thinking that translating is not a form of commentary. SHAME ON HER!
That's it. I'm walking out.
|Time is running backwards and so is the bride!
||[Feb. 10th, 2005|09:42 pm]
The following is a poem written ca. 700 AD in England, perhaps in Bath. Thanks to AIP for bringing my attention to this.|
Well-wrought this wall: Wierds broke it.
The stronghold burst....
Snapped rooftrees, towers fallen,
the work of the Giants, the stonesmiths,
Rime scoureth gatetowers
rime on mortar.
Shattered the showershields, roofs ruined,
age under-ate them.
And the wielders & wrights?
Earthgrip holds them - gone, long gone,
fast in gravesgrasp while fifty fathers
and sons have passed.
grey lichen, red stone, kings fell often,
stood under storms, high arch crashed -
stands yet the wallstone, hacked by weapons,
by files grim-ground...
...shone the old skilled work
... sank to loam-crust.
Mood quickened mind, and a man of wit,
cunning in rings, bound bravely the wallbvase
with iron, a wonder.
Bright were the buildings, halls where springs ran,
high, horngabled, much throng-noise;
these many meadhalls men filled
with loud cheerfulness: Wierd changed that.
Came days of pestilence, on all sides men fell dead,
death fetched off the flower of the people;
where they stood to fight, waste places
and on the acropolis, ruins.
Hosts who would build again
shrank to the earth. Therefore are these courts dreary
and that red arch twisteth tiles,
wryeth from roof-ridge, reacheth groundwards....
There once many a man
mood-glad, gold-bright, of gleams garnished,
flushed with wine-pride, flashing war-gear,
gazed on wrought gemstones, on gold, on silver
on wealth held and hoarded, on light-filled amber,
on this bright burg of broad dominion.
Stood stone houses; wide streams welled
hot from source, and a wall all caught
in its bright bosom, that the baths were
hot at hall's hearth; that was fitting...
Thence hot streams, loosed, ran over hoar stone
unto the ring-tank....
...It is a kingly thing
|The naked truth is still taboo whenever it can be seen.
||[Feb. 10th, 2005|08:39 pm]
At what point do friends become strangers? At what point do lovers become painted faces? When should we hold on? When should we let go? What is a mercy killing? Who is the empty one? What does that make the other? What knives do you hold up your sleeve? What substance draws your attention away from yourself? What faces do you see on the street? Are you happy? Are you home yet? What was it you wanted?|
|It's awfully considerate of you!
||[Feb. 9th, 2005|09:02 pm]
After a few hours studying at Borders with the usual crew, I decided to make use of my (costly) membership at the local gym on Wilshire, "LA Fitness." This was my first time at a real gym. Nearly every aspect of the experience was new to me: did you know that Asian people actually lift weights? I SURE DIDN'T. There were all sorts of people to gape at: old women with the flesh dangling from their skin like a turkey's|
snood (yes, I do believe it's called that!), scrawny and buff men, businessmen, girls with headphones buried into their brains as they do the stair-stepping-to-nowhere routine, and, of course, me. I was dressed in khaki shorts, low-cut hiking boots, and a black shirt. I think I was the only one wearing such an ensemble. After leaving my bag in a locker sans lock, I decided that the treadmill was the place for me.
On to the treadmill I went. I decided to do the "forest walk" (luckily I had my hiking shoes!) because it seemed easy. Speed: 4mph. Incline: 1-2. Duration: 30 minutes. The machine started, and it took me a few minutes to feel secure enough that I wasn't going to fall of. I fiddled with the speed button and proceeded to walk for a whole half-hour! The stats: 211 calories burned, 2.05 miles walked! Beads and beads of sweat emerged from my pores -- apparently this was a lot of work for my body. I didn't feel too much pain, but after about fifteen minutes I noticed that somewhere near my pancreas (which, HUGE as it is, isn't a helpful locator) my old friend "Muscle (?) Stitch" was doing his thing. Or maybe it's "Kidney Stitch." In any event, there was some minor discomfort. Later on, I got slight cramps in my intestines.
I blame exercise.
Now that I can "go to the gym," I intend to make use of it so I can be "active" and "healthy." I'm a-wonderin' what it'll be like!
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