rushthatspeaks: (pirates!)
Here's the first set of my translations of the position descriptions from that Sui Dynasty sex manual (helpfully Latinized, as you may recall, by the author of the work on sex in ancient China that [livejournal.com profile] telophase has been reading). I am trying to be as true to the meaning of the text as possible, but I'm not taking the time to make the English very pretty, and I'm ignoring the fact that a lot of the Latin uses things such as subjunctives and perfect passive participles in preference for a more direct simple past and imperative style.

Cut for being VERY EXPLICIT INDEED. )

ETA: Second Set of Translations (the Barry Hughart edition). )

More to follow presently. I think I'll just put them in this entry and then put a link-back whenever I update it so that they're all in the same place.

If anybody wants to see the Latin, let me know, but I've got image files of photos of the text, so I can't copy-paste, and I don't want to type it all in; I'd far rather email you the image files. I am reminded that I have a photo display option, since this is a paid account, so I'll have those images up for you soon.

I love the things my classical education turns out to be good for.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Here's the first set of my translations of the position descriptions from that Sui Dynasty sex manual (helpfully Latinized, as you may recall, by the author of the work on sex in ancient China that [livejournal.com profile] telophase has been reading). I am trying to be as true to the meaning of the text as possible, but I'm not taking the time to make the English very pretty, and I'm ignoring the fact that a lot of the Latin uses things such as subjunctives and perfect passive participles in preference for a more direct simple past and imperative style.

Cut for being VERY EXPLICIT INDEED. )

ETA: Second Set of Translations (the Barry Hughart edition). )

More to follow presently. I think I'll just put them in this entry and then put a link-back whenever I update it so that they're all in the same place.

If anybody wants to see the Latin, let me know, but I've got image files of photos of the text, so I can't copy-paste, and I don't want to type it all in; I'd far rather email you the image files. I am reminded that I have a photo display option, since this is a paid account, so I'll have those images up for you soon.

I love the things my classical education turns out to be good for.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Hiho, hiho, it's off to work I... don't quite go. Interview, though, if only with a temp agency, who of course did the whole 'we can't promise you a job, we can't promise you a good salary, and please fill out the following fifty forms in triplicate so we can get on with not doing it' thing. I slander them; I do think they will get me a job, eventually, as I did very well on all their standardized tests and they seemed a busy and efficient place. They were pleasant to me and did not treat me like office pool scum. It's just I hate taking that type of standardized test. Yes, I can type. Yes, I know simple arithmetic. Yes, I can fill out alphanumeric data entry forms. Do the tests for all these things have to be ten frickin' minutes? Couldn't it just be five? Also, the place is in Queens. I live in Brooklyn Heights. For those of you unfamiliar with New York, here is the equation: Brooklyn Heights--> Queens = 2 hour subway ride + 4 transfers. That's one way.

At least I have now been in four out of five boroughs, and am starting to feel like if dumped in New York without explanation of where I was I could get back to the apartment without winding up in Jersey. I have never been to the Bronx. It's further away then Queens. But Queens was OK. It was interesting to get off the subway and be faced by the largest random classical-type marble sculpture I have seen by a street for no apparent reason in North America. It should have been called The Excruciation of Heracles: big big brawny guy tied in itty bitty knots. Or possibly a study of a study of a copy of Michelangelo's Prisoners. With a fountain stuck in his ear, I kid you not. I had not been expecting this thing, and I had been reading Juvenal in the subway, which just made it weirder, as Juvenal is just full of statues that shouldn't have existed. I bought the copy of Juvenal's Satires, together with an omnibus edition of Plautus' best-known plays, off a street vendor for seventy-five cents apiece. Both books are new and, I find upon examination, still have the little security strips in them, leaving me with some concern that they may have, shall we say, fallen off the back of a truck. Still, even if they are stolen, at that price the thief is making no profit, and it happens to be the correct market price for Plautus; as well, I wouldn't know what to do about the possible provenance of the books if I tried. It seems appropriate to have a slightly shady copy of Juvenal. He would so disapprove. I probably wouldn't have bought them if I'd noticed those strips, though... does it strike anyone else that New York is possibly the only city in which one can buy illicit copies of the classics on a streetcorner? I mean, this is a city where a vendor set up on somebody's front stoop sold me obscure Latin authors. There are some things I like about New York.

Angst-O-Meter: Not sure. Tired and annoyed about alphanumerics.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Hiho, hiho, it's off to work I... don't quite go. Interview, though, if only with a temp agency, who of course did the whole 'we can't promise you a job, we can't promise you a good salary, and please fill out the following fifty forms in triplicate so we can get on with not doing it' thing. I slander them; I do think they will get me a job, eventually, as I did very well on all their standardized tests and they seemed a busy and efficient place. They were pleasant to me and did not treat me like office pool scum. It's just I hate taking that type of standardized test. Yes, I can type. Yes, I know simple arithmetic. Yes, I can fill out alphanumeric data entry forms. Do the tests for all these things have to be ten frickin' minutes? Couldn't it just be five? Also, the place is in Queens. I live in Brooklyn Heights. For those of you unfamiliar with New York, here is the equation: Brooklyn Heights--> Queens = 2 hour subway ride + 4 transfers. That's one way.

At least I have now been in four out of five boroughs, and am starting to feel like if dumped in New York without explanation of where I was I could get back to the apartment without winding up in Jersey. I have never been to the Bronx. It's further away then Queens. But Queens was OK. It was interesting to get off the subway and be faced by the largest random classical-type marble sculpture I have seen by a street for no apparent reason in North America. It should have been called The Excruciation of Heracles: big big brawny guy tied in itty bitty knots. Or possibly a study of a study of a copy of Michelangelo's Prisoners. With a fountain stuck in his ear, I kid you not. I had not been expecting this thing, and I had been reading Juvenal in the subway, which just made it weirder, as Juvenal is just full of statues that shouldn't have existed. I bought the copy of Juvenal's Satires, together with an omnibus edition of Plautus' best-known plays, off a street vendor for seventy-five cents apiece. Both books are new and, I find upon examination, still have the little security strips in them, leaving me with some concern that they may have, shall we say, fallen off the back of a truck. Still, even if they are stolen, at that price the thief is making no profit, and it happens to be the correct market price for Plautus; as well, I wouldn't know what to do about the possible provenance of the books if I tried. It seems appropriate to have a slightly shady copy of Juvenal. He would so disapprove. I probably wouldn't have bought them if I'd noticed those strips, though... does it strike anyone else that New York is possibly the only city in which one can buy illicit copies of the classics on a streetcorner? I mean, this is a city where a vendor set up on somebody's front stoop sold me obscure Latin authors. There are some things I like about New York.

Angst-O-Meter: Not sure. Tired and annoyed about alphanumerics.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Zeus, King and Father of the Gods, has no legitimate heir. In part, this is because what he desires in an heir is one who is not powerful enough to supplant him, but more powerful than any of the other gods have turned out to be. His legitimate son with Hera, Ares, is incompetent; his son by Leto, Apollo, is an eternal adolescent. His sons by mortal women, although not illegitimate, as Zeus' marriage is in the sphere of the heavens and has not been consecrated on Earth (just try telling that to Hera) do not have the power of the Olympians.

Except, of course, for the Child of Semele. Dionysos, youngest of the Olympians and son of Zeus, half-mortal and legitimate, is also the most powerful of the Olympian deities, excepting only the Father. Why, then, is Dionysos not the heir to the cosmos?

When the God of Wine was still a baby, he was wandering alone near Thebes, the town of his relatives, when Gaea, his grandmother, cast up before him her firstborn, the Titans, who had been imprisoned in Tartaros for rebelling against the rulers of Heaven. Still angry with Zeus for their imprisonment, they asked Dionysos to assist them in overthrowing his father, but the young god refused. They concealed their anger with him and made him gifts; they gave him a doll, a four-stringed lyre, a rhombus (like a spinning-top. but making a louder noise) and a mirror. When the child looked into the mirror, he saw his reflection split into a thousand pieces, and the pieces scattered throughout the universe. Some say the Titans stabbed him then, and hacked his body into pieces to match his reflection; some say his body burst apart of itself. But the fact remains, the god was split, and no two of his living fragments have ever reunited. Each has become an aspect of the deity, some under different names, and each can wield only a fraction of his power. This, therefore, is why Dionysos is so likely to look on the same worshiper with favor at one place, and not at another, and also why his followers tear both their enemies and those they honor most limb from limb. However, most importantly, it is why Dionysos is not the heir of Zeus; the Father mourned, but could do nothing, and threw the Titans back to Tartaros.

The mirror also split, and multiplied throughout the world, and this explains the magical properties of mirrors, for some of them contain fragments of the god. It may have been one such as these that Narcissos fell in love with.

Source: 1st and 2nd century Greek Neoplatonists who claim to have been quoting older sources of which no trace remains. Try Plotinus.

Angst-O-Meter: 2. I hate my sinuses.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Zeus, King and Father of the Gods, has no legitimate heir. In part, this is because what he desires in an heir is one who is not powerful enough to supplant him, but more powerful than any of the other gods have turned out to be. His legitimate son with Hera, Ares, is incompetent; his son by Leto, Apollo, is an eternal adolescent. His sons by mortal women, although not illegitimate, as Zeus' marriage is in the sphere of the heavens and has not been consecrated on Earth (just try telling that to Hera) do not have the power of the Olympians.

Except, of course, for the Child of Semele. Dionysos, youngest of the Olympians and son of Zeus, half-mortal and legitimate, is also the most powerful of the Olympian deities, excepting only the Father. Why, then, is Dionysos not the heir to the cosmos?

When the God of Wine was still a baby, he was wandering alone near Thebes, the town of his relatives, when Gaea, his grandmother, cast up before him her firstborn, the Titans, who had been imprisoned in Tartaros for rebelling against the rulers of Heaven. Still angry with Zeus for their imprisonment, they asked Dionysos to assist them in overthrowing his father, but the young god refused. They concealed their anger with him and made him gifts; they gave him a doll, a four-stringed lyre, a rhombus (like a spinning-top. but making a louder noise) and a mirror. When the child looked into the mirror, he saw his reflection split into a thousand pieces, and the pieces scattered throughout the universe. Some say the Titans stabbed him then, and hacked his body into pieces to match his reflection; some say his body burst apart of itself. But the fact remains, the god was split, and no two of his living fragments have ever reunited. Each has become an aspect of the deity, some under different names, and each can wield only a fraction of his power. This, therefore, is why Dionysos is so likely to look on the same worshiper with favor at one place, and not at another, and also why his followers tear both their enemies and those they honor most limb from limb. However, most importantly, it is why Dionysos is not the heir of Zeus; the Father mourned, but could do nothing, and threw the Titans back to Tartaros.

The mirror also split, and multiplied throughout the world, and this explains the magical properties of mirrors, for some of them contain fragments of the god. It may have been one such as these that Narcissos fell in love with.

Source: 1st and 2nd century Greek Neoplatonists who claim to have been quoting older sources of which no trace remains. Try Plotinus.

Angst-O-Meter: 2. I hate my sinuses.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
A skop sang about a quarter of Beowulf in the Great Hall last night, to a six-stringed lyre. The hall was packed with curious people of all ages, old, young, and holding up children to see. The flickering red light produced the bard's shadow on the wall, and made the dark outside seem darker, the dark inside seem more comfortable. The skop had come from a faraway place and had been trained by the best musical teachers. He was worth traveling great distances to hear, and some of the people had. His Beowulf was kingly and proud; his Hrothgar old, yet still hearty; his drunken Ulfarth a hilarious caricature. His Grendel was terrifying. The hall was a fit match for the Great Hall of Heorot, and everyone could see the monster's arm stretching from doorpost to roofbeam, amid the gleam of gold and the precious ornaments. Everyone could imagine that the beast that walks by night might still be angry at humans who dared to use a hall this splendid after sunset. But the skop's voice rang trumpets, calling on the power of the warriors of the Geats and the power of their God, and, in the end, good triumphed at last.

This event took place last evening, April 8th, 2002, in the Great Hall of my college; the bard was Benjamin Bagby, one of the most renowned scholars of medieval music, performing in Old English with computerized supertitles before an audience of students, professors, and local theatergoers. The event would have worked as well without the supertitles, as even though the language was incomprehensible, the delivery was so beautiful that the exact plot of the poem could be followed without any knowledge of Old English. The performer spoke no modern English during his entire seventy-five minutes on stage, pausing only to tune his harp. He will, with any luck, be releasing on DVD soon the entirety of Beowulf, all seven hours, and, if we are luckier yet, he will be filming the DVD in our Great Hall, since it was such a perfect setting.

The fact that this event was such a special occurrence, that the real recitation of epic poety has become so uncommon in this day and age that people who were not present at or aware of this particular evening might think my first paragraph was a fictional description of a long-ago setting, saddens me desperately. We tell stories to each other, but stories that we make up as we go along, or others' stories with our own spin on them, no two words the same way twice. This might be poetry, but poetry extempore, ignoring the fact that the written poem cannot produce the sound of the word, and that the poet was thinking of the sound of the word. Poems confined to books are not living up to their potential, and although there are audiobooks and cassettes available of the most famous epics and translations, long works composed after the advent of writing have been relegated to being read silently, or being read aloud by the reader to herself, or being read to audiences by untrained readers who do not know how best to speak the lines and how to perform with language. When was the last time someone sang you the Chanson de Roland, or the Lais of Marie de France, even though 'song' is in the title of both works? Those were still works meant to be sung-- when was the last time you heard someone recite the Eddas (which Benjamin Bagby says he's going to learn next, hurrah), or the Canterbury Tales? What new life might be given to the works far too many now consider hoary old classics, written down by poets long dead and now confined to libraries? When was the last time that somebody sang you Paradise Lost?

I'm not saying anything here that hasn't been said many times, except perhaps as a statement of intent. The human memory is far more capable than anyone today believes it could be; consult your Giordano Bruno for techniques which still work and which, when highly developed, can store entire texts verbatim without requiring the Truffaut-esque wandering about reciting all the time. Find something you love. Memorize it. Tell it to people. I'm going to, as soon as I decide what I love the most in poetry-- and I'll get back to you in a couple years.

Angst Ratio: zero. Life good. Purr.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
A skop sang about a quarter of Beowulf in the Great Hall last night, to a six-stringed lyre. The hall was packed with curious people of all ages, old, young, and holding up children to see. The flickering red light produced the bard's shadow on the wall, and made the dark outside seem darker, the dark inside seem more comfortable. The skop had come from a faraway place and had been trained by the best musical teachers. He was worth traveling great distances to hear, and some of the people had. His Beowulf was kingly and proud; his Hrothgar old, yet still hearty; his drunken Ulfarth a hilarious caricature. His Grendel was terrifying. The hall was a fit match for the Great Hall of Heorot, and everyone could see the monster's arm stretching from doorpost to roofbeam, amid the gleam of gold and the precious ornaments. Everyone could imagine that the beast that walks by night might still be angry at humans who dared to use a hall this splendid after sunset. But the skop's voice rang trumpets, calling on the power of the warriors of the Geats and the power of their God, and, in the end, good triumphed at last.

This event took place last evening, April 8th, 2002, in the Great Hall of my college; the bard was Benjamin Bagby, one of the most renowned scholars of medieval music, performing in Old English with computerized supertitles before an audience of students, professors, and local theatergoers. The event would have worked as well without the supertitles, as even though the language was incomprehensible, the delivery was so beautiful that the exact plot of the poem could be followed without any knowledge of Old English. The performer spoke no modern English during his entire seventy-five minutes on stage, pausing only to tune his harp. He will, with any luck, be releasing on DVD soon the entirety of Beowulf, all seven hours, and, if we are luckier yet, he will be filming the DVD in our Great Hall, since it was such a perfect setting.

The fact that this event was such a special occurrence, that the real recitation of epic poety has become so uncommon in this day and age that people who were not present at or aware of this particular evening might think my first paragraph was a fictional description of a long-ago setting, saddens me desperately. We tell stories to each other, but stories that we make up as we go along, or others' stories with our own spin on them, no two words the same way twice. This might be poetry, but poetry extempore, ignoring the fact that the written poem cannot produce the sound of the word, and that the poet was thinking of the sound of the word. Poems confined to books are not living up to their potential, and although there are audiobooks and cassettes available of the most famous epics and translations, long works composed after the advent of writing have been relegated to being read silently, or being read aloud by the reader to herself, or being read to audiences by untrained readers who do not know how best to speak the lines and how to perform with language. When was the last time someone sang you the Chanson de Roland, or the Lais of Marie de France, even though 'song' is in the title of both works? Those were still works meant to be sung-- when was the last time you heard someone recite the Eddas (which Benjamin Bagby says he's going to learn next, hurrah), or the Canterbury Tales? What new life might be given to the works far too many now consider hoary old classics, written down by poets long dead and now confined to libraries? When was the last time that somebody sang you Paradise Lost?

I'm not saying anything here that hasn't been said many times, except perhaps as a statement of intent. The human memory is far more capable than anyone today believes it could be; consult your Giordano Bruno for techniques which still work and which, when highly developed, can store entire texts verbatim without requiring the Truffaut-esque wandering about reciting all the time. Find something you love. Memorize it. Tell it to people. I'm going to, as soon as I decide what I love the most in poetry-- and I'll get back to you in a couple years.

Angst Ratio: zero. Life good. Purr.

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