Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Possible Openers to Possible Posts

If I were to write another post here on the matched-guise technique, and my own work with it, and how what you see with "heart language" is not always what you get, then I might start with the following quotation as an epigraph:
It is less dangerous to draw a cartoon of Allah French-kissing Uncle Sam — which, let me make it very clear, I have not done — than it is to speak honestly about this topic.
And if you see another post here on translation, on how Naomi Seidman discusses the Talmud discussing the Septuagint translators (even God as translator), then I'd open with the following for the head quotation:
My mom was conceived in the U.S., born in Greece, and brought back here as an infant. Because of this, she never gets called for jury duty. / She grew up speaking both English and Greek, and when I was in elementary school she volunteered to be a classroom aide, because of the lot of the Greeks in our neighborhood were “right off the boat,” as she would say, and needed a translator. Sometimes the teachers would ask her to translate bad news: “Please tell Mrs. Fondulas that her son is very disruptive.” And my mom would nod and say in Greek, “George is a lovely boy.” Because she knew that if she translated what the teacher really said the kid would get a beating and the mother would hate her forever out of embarrassment.
Or if I ever get around to writing something else on how Homer's and Hesiod's "pistis" is much more like the Jewish LXX translators' "pistis" (from which the Jewish writers of the "New" testament develop their "pistis") than it is Aristote's "pistis," then the opening epigraphs would be these:
Thucydides, Gibbon, Tuchman, McCullough -- to the names of the world's great historians must now be added the name Dave Barry, who has taken a long, hard look at our new millennium (so far) and, when he stopped hyperventilating, written it all down, because nobody would believe it otherwise.

This is the time to take one last, lingering look back at the millennium that is drawing to a close.  For as the ancient Greek historian Thucydides often said, when he was alive, “History is bunch of things that happened in the past.”  His point was the human civilization is a journey, and only by retracing the steps of that journey can we truly come to know, as a species, where we lost our keys.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.”  [new paragraph]  Or possibly it was Thomas Edison who said that.  I'm pretty sure somebody said it, because you often hear journalists quote it in an effort to explain how come they get everything wrong.

Okay.  I suppose you need me to document my sources.  I was in a the waiting room of a doctor yesterday, waiting on a family member to finish visiting with her.  And on the table in the waiting room were some old issues of The New Yorker (with great essays by Tina Fey) and Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far).  I wanted to post some of these things above via my little iPhone to Facebook right then and there.  But then some of my friends on FB are young and others are serious, so I thought you all here instead might like the excerpts.  (And what if I do post more here some day?)


Theophrastus said...

Since you obviously have too much time on your hands, why not try taking answering some sample questions from the Harvard entrance exam from 1869?

J. K. Gayle said...

"The math section really surprised me, because…well, I suck at math and I haven’t touched anything aside from basic arithmetic since the age of 18," Jenny said.

"Of course you do, girl," said Aristotle at the Lyceum and President Lawrence Summers when he was still over Harvard.