Author Topic: Classics Forum  (Read 247621 times)

PatH

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1000 on: January 19, 2018, 08:51:08 PM »
That really is super.  Thanks, Frybabe.

Maryemm

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1001 on: January 27, 2018, 07:25:22 AM »
 Yes, I also enjoyed that, FryBabe. Thank you. Of course it led me on to watching other videos about Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The following is animated but explains the different volcanic "steps".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY_3ggKg0Bc

.....and Professor Mary Beard in the following video talks about Life and Death in a Roman Town.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnIY6AE4m6E

I am re-reading her book "Pompeii" at the moment. Fascinating!

Frybabe

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1002 on: January 28, 2018, 06:30:33 AM »
I guess Amazing Places is spending time in Italy this month. Here is the latest posting of Rome and the Vatican. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfGZUoG1H2E This is the first time I've watched videos where there were a lot (and I mean a lot) of people swarming about. He includes a few shots of the inside of the Vatican Museum. He seems to like the obelisks. Some of the fountains and a minor garden space or two, and the lovely shots of the Victor Emmanuel building, including shots from the roof.

Maryemm

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1003 on: February 08, 2018, 12:23:30 PM »
Beautiful, FryBabe. I shall never visit , so thank you for directing me to that video.

Frybabe

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1004 on: February 11, 2018, 05:59:43 PM »
Ursula le Guin, best known for her SciFi, or as she preferred, Speculative Fiction, wrote a book based on a character from the last six books of Virgil's Aeneid., called Lavinia (published in 2008). https://www.tor.com/2009/02/27/reimagining-virgil-ursula-le-guins-lavinia/  I've just started reading it, and after only five pages, I am hooked. Has anyone read it?

In her Afterword, Le Guin worried over the death of the Latin language. She mourned, ahead of this possibility, over the silencing of Virgil's voice with the advent of "the true death of his language".  She believed that no one could truly translate Virgil from the Latin without losing a lot in the translation. In her estimation, no one could "capture the magic", that his poetry is  "so profoundly musical, its beauty is so intrinsic to the sound and order of the words, that it is essentially untranslatable".


PatH

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1005 on: February 11, 2018, 07:58:33 PM »
I got it recently (it was the Abe Books book I fussed about) but haven't had time to start it yet.  If it looks appropriate, it might do for a book discussion.

The problem of poetry that doesn't translate well is frustrating.  The old Icelandic poetry has it too--it uses extremely clever puns and wordplay that can't be translated.  No, I don't know Old Norse/Icelandic, but I'm interested in the poetry and it's frustrating.

Frybabe

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1006 on: February 12, 2018, 05:55:14 AM »
I heard that Beowulf is hard to translate as well. Also, several years ago I found an article about a group looking into Shakespeare's plays. It seems that because of changes in word usage/meaning/obsolescence over the years, modern versions have missed some of Shakespeare's humor.

PatH

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1007 on: February 12, 2018, 10:38:04 AM »
It's certainly true about Shakespeare.  There is a series, Shakespeare Without Tears, which is essentially dual language books, with the original on the left, and a modern English version on the right.  I read one recently; most of the time it isn't needed, but I found several dirty jokes that had totally escaped me before, and there were lots of places where it made the language clearer.

I'm a Beowulf fan, and have issues with some translations, but didn't realize that particular difficulty; my complaint is they try to pretty it up.  I was going to talk about it in the library after I finished spouting off about Moby-Dick, but conversation was lively about other things, and I didn't want to cut anything short.

Frybabe

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1008 on: February 12, 2018, 11:10:44 AM »
I tried reading Beowulf in Old English, once, without ever taking a class in Old English manuscripts. Had to give up rather quickly. Maybe I am remembering wrong about the difficulty, or what I heard was from someone who had trouble with it, too.

It must be hard, the farther from the original, for translators to produce a work that is understandable to modern readers without losing things in translation, like they discovered with Shakespeare. I worry about Latin translations for the same reason. Some things don't translate directly, others are victims of word meaning changes (my favorite is egregious) or just plain obsolescence. Sometimes, translating passages or words is a matter of just getting the gist of it and saying it in your own words. I can see where translations can diverge some having to do that. And if you've read a particular translation, could that color the way you think about the passage or book when you try to translate it yourself? In Latin, translating a word can and does depend on the context of the rest of the sentence or passage. You really have to be on your toes.  I never quite trust the accuracy of my translations, and on occasion, scratch my head at other translations.

Maryemm

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1009 on: February 14, 2018, 11:46:52 AM »
I gave up on Anglo Saxon because of lack of time. Maybe I should have another go!

In Welsh we have a word "hiraeth" which is not easy to translate. I suppose the nearest one can get to the meaning is to use the word "longing," but it still isn't quite right. Yet every Welsh...person....knows what it means!

PatH

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1010 on: February 14, 2018, 07:23:10 PM »
Hiraeth--Maryemm, that's a wonderful example of why I both love translating and am frustrated by it.  An outsider has to zero in on meaning as she gets more and more experienced with the language, and probably can never be sure she's gotten it quite right.

Frybabe and Maryemm, here's why you had trouble with Anglo Saxon Beowulf:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/21/AR2007112102353.html

Maryemm

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1011 on: February 20, 2018, 10:44:28 AM »
I saw the film on TV and wondered why Angelina Jolie was chosen to play Grendel's mother. Can't see the word "hag" applied to her.


PatH

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1012 on: February 20, 2018, 11:32:12 AM »
She was chosen because they totally ignored what the poem is really about and made the stupid movie they wanted to make.  Indeed, she's no hag--looks pretty good dressed in nothing but gold paint.

It was a dreadful movie, but in spite of all they could do, there were a few scenes in which they seem to have actually caught the spirit of the original, and you can imagine the movie they could have made.

The same is true of the movie Troy.  It wasn't very good, but occasionally the spirit of Homer leaks through and you get a good scene.

Maryemm

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Re: Classics Forum
« Reply #1013 on: February 20, 2018, 03:31:30 PM »
A new production of "Troy" has just started on our TV. Helen has herself carried to Paris's ship in a large coffin-like chest. She is not "doomed by the Gods" to run away with her lover in this production : she chooses to do so to save her young daughter. Menelaus has offered her to Paris as a bride.

Have to say I did not take to the production but it is early days. Paris is reckless and, I thought, obnoxious.