Monday, January 21, 2013

More-Or-Less Random Thoughts

     It's MLK Day, a day-off "holiday" for government employees.  Pretty much everyone else goes to work.  Note that it's only on government forms these days that they wanna ask into your "race;" most everybody else, from your employer to the grocery store to the idiot who just cut you off on the freeway, care way more about your ability and character than the color of your skin or who your ancestors were.  I'm sure there's a lesson there.

     Interesting discussion at Roseholme Cottage this morning about best non-sand-barrel spots to unload/reload a handgun, ending in marked agreement at a solid (masonry) wall with grass or dirt in front of it. 

     Jules Verne -- didja know it's darned hard to find a non-mangled English translation of most of his work?  19th-century translators tended to reslant the politics and dumb 'em down as adventure novels for kids, dropping big chunks of text, even from hist best-known books.  I'm reading a biography of Verne, who was about as quirky as the SF writers who would soon be following in his footprints.  (I've not yet read Robur The Conquerer or Master Of The World, which involve fascinatingly steampunk contrivances.  They were the inspirations for a Vincent Price movie; fragments viewed in passing suggest rather less cheese than typical AIP fare.)

     (Just heard the President say, in a newscast playback, "I'm familiar with the literature about Presidential overreach in second terms..."  Yes, and he's writing a whole new chapter on the subject already!  Gosh, talk about hitting the ground running.  I guffawed.) 


wolfwalker said...

"Jules Verne -- didja know it's darned hard to find a non-mangled English translation of most of his work?"

When I was a kid, I read the then-standard English translation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. There were many bits that didn't make sense, but I glossed over them like most kids would. Years later when I was in college, I found a book called The Annotated 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It went through the standard translation, compared it to a straight translation of the original French, and ripped it to shreds. Showed how Verne was a much better writer -- smarter, clearer, more tech-savvy, and MUCH earthier -- than the Victorians made him look. Reading an accurate translation of 20,000 Leagues is like reading it for the first time -- the changes are that extensive.

Old Grouch said...

I doubt if any publishers would be interested in commissioning new translations of public domain works, but IMO it sure looks like a workable Kickstarter project.

rickn8or said...

"I'm familiar with the literature about Presidential overreach in second terms..."

How long ya think before he starts using the Royal We?

Drang said...

Clearing Barrels — Selection & Use of Clearing Barrels

Anonymous said...

You guffawed? Because of mirth, or was it the laugh-so-you-don't-cry kind?

My own self, people would interpret it as incipient hysteria. Bad trouble, soon come.

Mike James

Old NFO said...

Yep, overreaching already... and that was just in the first hour...

Hunter said...

Re: J. Verne, I borrowed a copy of 20,000 LUS a couple of years ago to reread. It was the Naval Institute Press edition that kept all the biology and marine science intact.
Whoa. What a change, and for the better.