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February 08 2018



myspace but pronounced like versace

February 07 2018

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Carrie Fisher’s home, from Bright Lights (2016).

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this is the scariest tweet ive ever seen reading this made me feel like im in the twilight zone

this is a fucking threat

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The Eyes of God, Prohodna Cave, Bulgaria.



Throughout her translation of the “Odyssey,” Wilson has made small but, it turns out, radical changes to the way many key scenes of the epic are presented — “radical” in that, in 400 years of versions of the poem, no translator has made the kinds of alterations Wilson has, changes that go to truing a text that, as she says, has through translation accumulated distortions that affect the way even scholars who read Greek discuss the original. These changes seem, at each turn, to ask us to appreciate the gravity of the events that are unfolding, the human cost of differences of mind.

The first of these changes is in the very first line. You might be inclined to suppose that, over the course of nearly half a millennium, we must have reached a consensus on the English equivalent for an old Greek word, polytropos. But to consult Wilson’s 60 some predecessors, living and dead, is to find that consensus has been hard to come by…

Of the 60 or so answers to the polytropos question to date, the 36 given above [which I cut because there were a lot] couldn’t be less uniform (the two dozen I omit repeat, with minor variations, earlier solutions); what unites them is that their translators largely ignore the ambiguity built into the word they’re translating. Most opt for straightforward assertions of Odysseus’s nature, descriptions running from the positive (crafty, sagacious, versatile) to the negative (shifty, restless, cunning). Only Norgate (“of many a turn”) and Cook (“of many turns”) preserve the Greek roots as Wilson describes them — poly(“many”), tropos (“turn”) — answers that, if you produced them as a student of classics, much of whose education is spent translating Greek and Latin and being marked correct or incorrect based on your knowledge of the dictionary definitions, would earn you an A. But to the modern English reader who does not know Greek, does “a man of many turns” suggest the doubleness of the original word — a man who is either supremely in control of his life or who has lost control of it? Of the existing translations, it seems to me that none get across to a reader without Greek the open question that, in fact, is the opening question of the “Odyssey,” one embedded in the fifth word in its first line: What sort of man is Odysseus?

“I wanted there to be a sense,” Wilson told me, that “maybe there is something wrong with this guy. You want to have a sense of anxiety about this character, and that there are going to be layers we see unfolded. We don’t quite know what the layers are yet. So I wanted the reader to be told: be on the lookout for a text that’s not going to be interpretively straightforward.”

Here is how Wilson’s “Odyssey” begins. Her fifth word is also her solution to the Greek poem’s fifth word — to polytropos:

Tell me about a complicated man.
Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,
and where he went, and who he met, the pain
he suffered in the storms at sea, and how
he worked to save his life and bring his men
back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools,
they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god
kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.
Find the beginning.

When I first read these lines early this summer in The Paris Review, which published an excerpt, I was floored. I’d never read an “Odyssey” that sounded like this. It had such directness, the lines feeling not as if they were being fed into iambic pentameter because of some strategic decision but because the meter was a natural mode for its speaker. The subtle sewing through of the fittingly wavelike W-words in the first half (“wandered … wrecked … where … worked”) and the stormy S-words that knit together the second half, marrying the waves to the storm in which this man will suffer, made the terse injunctions to the muse that frame this prologue to the poem (“Tell me about …” and “Find the beginning”) seem as if they might actually answer the puzzle posed by Homer’s polytropos and Odysseus’s complicated nature.

Complicated: the brilliance of Wilson’s choice is, in part, its seeming straightforwardness. But no less than that of polytropos, the etymology of “complicated” is revealing. From the Latin verb complicare, it means “to fold together.” No, we don’t think of that root when we call someone complicated, but it’s what we mean: that they’re compound, several things folded into one, difficult to unravel, pull apart, understand.

“It feels,” I told Wilson, “with your choice of ‘complicated,’ that you planted a flag.”

“It is a flag,” she said.

“It says, ‘Guess what?’ — ”

“ ‘ — this is different.’ ”

The First Woman to Translate the Odyssey Into English, Wyatt Mason

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2,200 year old Greek armbands.

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Six of Crows for @Rovinsky

No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.

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February 04 2018

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Paintings by Peter Rotter

Landscapes dominate the subjects of my paintings, simply because they have always surrounded my life. Feeling is the essential motif behind my work; the initial inspiration holds the key to the process that evolves afterwards. I am drawn to a particular place by a luminous colour, a certain slant of light, an interesting shape, or shadow, movement of sky, a memory of sound, smell and sense of ease. These elements are what interest and excite me, stirring my passion to paint.  

For me, these places are found in northern Ontario. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 95, painting the north was a natural homecoming for me. Growing up it was where I spent my summers and weekends. Growing older I’ve realized the impact it made on my life and work.

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posted by tu recepcja



You always make fun of the medieval artists until you try to draw a baby.

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February 03 2018

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Follow me into the endless night.

Never trust the storyteller. Only trust the story.
— Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections (via theendleess)
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