an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Friday, August 12, 2005

it's Greek

How much translation is preference?

And you prefer...?

A passage from Plato's Symposium first translated by P.B. Shelley as The Banquet, the only translation of the text much available until Benjamin Jowett's version of it became standard:

"And since Love is the child of Poverty and Plenty, his nature and fortune participates in that of his parents. He is forever poor, and so far from being delicate and beautiful, as mankind imagine, he is squalid and withered; he flies low along the ground, and is homeless and unsandalled; he sleeps without covering before the doors, and in the unsheltered streets; possessing thus far his mother’s nature, that he is ever the companion of Want. But, inasmuch as he participates in that of his father, he is forever scheming to obtain things which are good and beautiful; he is fearless, vehement, and strong; a dreadful hunter, for ever weaving some new contrivance; exceedingly cautious and prudent, and full of resources; he is also, during his whole existence, a philosopher, a powerful enchanter, a wizard, and a subtle sophist."

Here is Jowett's text:

"And as his parentage is, so also are his fortunes. In the first place he is always poor, and anything but tender and fair, as the many imagine him; and he is rough and squalid, and has no shoes, nor a house to dwell in; on the bare earth exposed he lies under the open heaven in the streets, or at the doors of houses, taking his rest; and like his mother he is always in distress. Like his father too, whom he also party resembles, he is always plotting against the fair and good; he is bold, enterprising , strong, a mighty hunter, always weaving some interigue or other, keen in the pursuit of wisdom, fertile in resources; a philosopher at all times, terrible as an enchanter, sorcerer, sophist."

So beautiful, anyway.

"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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