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Proceeding Translation: Brandon Brown & David Larsen

By Thom Donovan

bb[1]larsen[1]
UPDATE: Given the high volume of comments below, I thought it would be a good idea to post responses by David Larsen and Brandon Brown in the body of the post. Below this stands my original post (for first time readers of this post), and below that the comments to which Larsen and Brown are partially responding to.

David LARSEN:
2 things: First, thanks to Thom for everything w/ a slight correction. I did not read from Ibn Khalawayh’s Names of the Lion last Saturday but from his Names of the Wind, along with Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyad ibn al-A’rabi’s Book of the Well and In Praise of the Rooster by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti. If you want to hear Names of the Lion, be at Johns Hopkins University’s Arellano Theater on April 15.

The second is to make an observation about conceptual translation as practiced by Brandon and me, which takes very different forms but is motivated by similar discontents. Brandon’s project as I understand it is in open defiance of the positivist fiction of accuracy, i.e. the fantasy of a unified standard. Good translators know there is no single accuracy but a multitude of accuracies, none of which is achieved without cost to others. Or have you not considered how many aspects of expressive behavior the translator has to confront? And what decisions go into privileging one over another? Brandon has. His work dramatizes them explicitly, and if it’s not your cup of tea then fine but that’s not because he’s a fraudulent or uninformed translator.

If you’ve seen my translation work, you know how different it is from Brandon’s. My method is to dramatize the fiction of accuracy by performing it according to the most rigorously positivist standards imaginable — precisely because they’re outmoded standards — and branding the results as “experimental poetry.” In my case the procedural spirit may be harder to recognize, because the product winds up looking like a polished sheet of Orientalist scholarship in the vein of D. S. Margoliouth. In spirit, however, I flatter myself to think it’s closer to what Brandon’s doing — staging translation in all its positivist delusion and imperialist complicity. Contrary to the proverb, the emperor wears a lot of clothes, and we think you ought to see them.

Brandon BROWN:
I too want to thank Thom for his original considerations, and I take no issue at all with any of the readings made by Thom and David–in fact I am grateful for them. And I am also very grateful for David’s description of his own project, a work which I love and think constitutes an innovative and important text for contemporary assumptions about what “experimental poetry” looks like.

As one point of clarification, Latin is a language I read, having studied it for 12 years. For me, learning and studying other languages is integral to poetic practice–I think it can effect, like artworks, exciting aporias in the body’s experience of the empirical world. While I personally don’t buy notions of a “sacred” or “crystalline” text which calls out to be translated “faithfully” in its “afterlife,” I do acknowledge that there are all kinds of translation, all made of different intentions and uses. In fact, in my translation of Catullus #31, there’s the sentence: “It’s not like you can’t go read the corpus of Catullus in translations by Peter Whigham or Ryan Gallagher. Or Bernadette Mayer or Louis Zukofsky. And those translations are terrific.”

My project, and David’s work with ibn Khalawayh, have different approaches. You know how some poets hear poetry in the air? Well, I do too sometimes. But for the Catullus book, I want to try to present the totality of my encounter with the text as a reader, including the unpredictable movements of my body, including the political and somatic joys and horrors, while translating the text. I fail to see how translation can exclude reading from its action, and I fail to see how a hermeneutic gesture can be excluded from any act of reading. I just want to describe different regions of the action. And I’ll say it with Larsen: if it’s not your cup of tea, cool! It is interesting to note, however, and I do it with dismay as well as affirmation, that there seems to be a “threat” inherent to discussions of translation, and its questions tend to upset the hegemonic guardians of pure language. The (mostly male) aggression I witness in these comment boxes reveals this precisely, and it is a sparkling provocation to hope that poetics has the potential to effect other possible kinds of cognition and response.

***

Sadly, Sara Wintz and I hosted our last SEGUE event of the season this past Saturday. David Larsen and Samantha Giles (of Small Press Traffic in San Francisco) were the readers, and I thought an excellent complement to one another, Larsen reading from his translation of Ibn Khalawayh’s 9th century lexicographic text Names of the Lion, and Giles from a harrowing long poem regarding the torture and abuse of prisoners by the United States.

David Larsen has been doing some excellent translation work in relation to conceptual practices (and I address this below in my intro for Larsen’s reading last weekend). I want here to put his work in conversation with the Bay Area based poet-translator Brandon Brown, who, like Larsen (as you’ll see below), has also been drawing generously upon proceduralism (constraint-based composition methods) to produce translations. In Brown’s translations of Catullus, for instance, the poet-translator provides his would be collaborators with instructions about how they may go about translating Catallus from Latin to English. To give you a taste of this, here are the instructions Brown gave to me last summer when he invited me to collaborate with him on his translation project:

“I thought we could collaborate on poem 87 in the corpus of Catullus. This is the Latin text:

Nulla potest mulier tantum se dicere amatam
vere, quantum a me Lesbia amata mea est.
Nulla fides ullo fuit umquam foedere tanta,
quanta in amore tuo ex parte reperta mea est.

My instructions for your translation are to, while translating the poem, do a Google search on ‘fedora’ and to consult p. 160 of Balzac’s The Wild Ass’s Skin. Translate the poem into a prose paragraph.

(As I mentioned, please disregard these instructions in any way. Translate however you please. I will not alter the text you send me.)”

Brown’s translation practice falls in a tradition after Jack Spicer, Louis Zukofsky, and others in the New American Poetry who liberally abandoned (a la Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator”) the reproduction of meanings for a more literal or affective translation work. A translation practice, to use a trope from Benjamin’s essay, that wishes for unique languages to leave a mark upon one another, thus altering the destiny of both languages through their contact in a literary work.

Yet, Brown is doing more than just leaving a mark of one language upon the other though his translation work. His focus is on the translator herself—the body of the translator, the cultural prerogatives of the translator, the way that translation is to a high degree a personal and embodied practice. David Brazil, in the recent issue of ON Contemporary Practice, speaks to this idea where he quotes Brown:

“There’s The Persians by Aeschylus, a translation of The Persians, by Aeschylus, about which the writer has written that he ‘tried to include many collaborators to intervene in the translation, especially including Edward Said, Jane Austen, Walter Benjamin, my Arabic class, the Clash, e-mail correspondence with a translator recruiter from the U.S. Army, and Rumi; also all the things I ate and drank and wore and said and did are in the translation; and most especially I tried to pay attention to the terrific war and the terrific language that the war made that completely infiltrated all of my food and beverages and clothes and words and actions, and I let that get in the way of the translation too.’” (ON Contemporary Practice 2, p. 22)

And:

“Translation as I understand it involves a preceding writing, a proceeding writing — in between is the body that translates. The preceding writing is absorbed by the body of the translator in the act of reading. And when the translator writes something down which proceeds from the act of reading and the preceding writing, that is called ‘translation.’ However, far from idealizing a notion of repetition, this translation model wishes to privilege the delay between preceding and proceeding marks. To acknowledge the fact of detour. To suggest that things can go haywire.” (ibid, p. 22)

By bringing the body/person of the translator into play—the ad hominem translator if you will—Brown cites the translator as a vital relay in the process of bearing a literary work across into language’s many afterlives (to use another curious term from the Benjamin). What’s more, translation becomes an act of second reflection (Adorno); the translator attends to translation as a conceptual act both reflecting and permuting the original object/idea of the translated work. The translation does not describe the original work, so much as it reconceives it, injecting it with new ideas and values. I like the way Brown gets at this problem through his terms “proceed” and “precede”—as though his translation were always marking the fact that it is constituted by delay, and/or a sense of uncanniness that the translated object cannot be frozen because the translator’s life is involved with it, in fact may even depend on it.

Brown is part of a continuum of translation practices situated within an avant garde tradition. Yet, more importantly, his translation work partakes of a recent trend of poets and translators wanting to bring their embodiments to the foreground, and to mediate the process of translation/writing through socio-political responsibilities and inflections of community. As though, a la Fluxus or a live art tradition, to admit art’s embroilments in a life being lived in relation to others. Brown’s work moves at the pace of life, and among a community and nexus of friendship that he addresses partially by involving them collaboratively in the process of translation, but as much so by making them part of the content of the work.

***

Introduction for David Larsen

It is interesting to me when a poet does something other than poetry, and publishes and disseminates whatever this is within the context of poets. David Larsen first came to my attention as a poet who wrote scrappy, post-punk comic books, reapproriating text and images, and adding his own words via thought balloon (comic books’ quotation marks). Both The Thorn and Syrup Hits by Larsen feature these comic book elements—comic book writing as a practice of poetic detournment. In the past few years, Larsen has been better known for his translation work, and specifically his translation of the 9th century Persian lexicographer and grammarian, Ibn Khalawayh’s text, Names of the Lion.

It is always curious to read a poet translating another’s work. The translation is typically salted with the poet’s own problems and habits. I sense this reading Names of the Lion, published last year in a small edition by Michael Cross’s Atticus/Finch press, where one may read every line of it as prose poetry, but even more so the approach Larsen takes to the translation as illustrative of contemporary poetic problems and methods of composition.

“But how an Arabic dictionary might ideally be arranged, and to what degree grammar should or should not intrude on lexicography are questions I feel no responsibility for answering. My task here was carried out in the procedural spirit of recent avant garde tradition, not linguistic scholarship.” (Names of the Lion, p. 6)

Names of the Lion is a procedural translation work, in the spirit of Surrealist exquisite corpse, Oulipian formulas, and Jackson Mac Low’s rigorous grammatical procedures. Bringing with it a force of erudition and attention, it proceeds through a rigorous lexical logic, but also a logic of association. As one soon finds, reading the names of the lion along with its many footnotes (the footnotes take up more than half of each page generally) to arrive at the names of the lion, Larsen makes many leaps of graphological association—“lightning flashes” according to Walter Benjamin. The footnotes document this associative-scholarly process, and as such do not merely form a kind of secondary text, but more so an interlocution of translator, text, reader, and resulting poem.

And yet, if we read Names of the Lion as a brilliantly associative work of scholarship, this still would not put a finger on what Larsen is doing—the boundary he’s pushing both in translation and contemporary poetics. A sense unfolds, reading The Names of the Lion, that language—a language’s syntax, and the muthological resonances of words (Robert Duncan)—is telling a story. Of what are words telling us a story? They are telling us a story—for one—of history; which is to say, of how languages come into contact historically with one another—of their morphologies, their phylogenies, and thus of the people who are their creative, mutative vessel.

Likewise, through Names of the Lion, we begin to see a picture of the imagination, the imagination given shape and visibility through the power of naming. In each name is a unique story: a story of cultural meaning, of values, of emotional projections. The lion is not just a name, as Larsen tells us, but that which preoccupied the lives of a people for very practical reasons—because it was a danger; a threat to their livelihoods and their lives.

With a poet’s elegance, Larsen is able to show the complexity of the stories language tells via its structure and form (grammar, lexicography). The result is not just a translation, but an artifact of Larsen’s going down into his own processes of understanding an other. History as an other; language as the other; translation as an encounter with language as a force at the limits of our knowing.

Comments (134)

  • On February 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm james stotts wrote:

    there is, of course, the problem that one always sees when he encounters conceptual-artist-hacks: that the procedure described doesn’t actually attend to any actual practice.

    “The preceding writing is absorbed by the body of the translator in the act of reading. And when the translator writes something down which proceeds from the act of reading and the preceding writing, that is called ‘translation.’”

    the above (rightly) supposes that the quality of reading is significant. i would hope so, but a reliance on corpses, forumulas, and procedures, doesn’t promise any breakthroughs–those gimmicks are all almost always crutches being used as weapons. and the writers who use them undermine the rigor of whatever non-avant procedure they are incapable of by calling it ‘conventional,’ but as benjamin knew and strove to remind us, the processes in translation need not be willfully obfuscatory and bureaucratic and avant for them to be wild and alien.

    we have come to this practice so late in the game, there is an absurd and comic note to the arguments for avantism, a desire for our efforts to be made more worthwhile simply by acknowledging–through a lack of rigor or structure–their lateness. as if all artists in all times haven’t been the latest.

    i look at the work, and avant or no, i seem to find only a few authentic attempts at poetry and/or its translation, and mostly a vast assembly of confidence men for whom poetry is mostly beside the point.

    • On February 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      James, when they ask you if you’d like to “go for a conceptual drive in my car”, always say no. The process involves misreading traffic signs, signals, & other cars. The results are disturbing & usually involve hospitalization in the nearest Conceptual Clinic (don’t go there, either).

      These hi-jinks strike me as effete, decadent. They exhibit bad faith toward the primary & rather humble duty of the translator : to the accuracy of the carry-over.

      • On February 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm Matt wrote:

        “accuracy”

        that’s a funny word

        • On February 3, 2010 at 8:49 pm Henry Gould wrote:

          I know, Matt – those 4 syllables make it a high hurdle for some.

      • On February 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

        “to the accuracy of the carry-over”
        this is one of the commonplaces Benjamin argues against in “The Task of the Translator”…

        • On February 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm Henry Gould wrote:

          Commonplaces or proverbs often originate in an accurate gauge of a situation. Feel free to cite the exalted name of your authority (Benjamin); I’m just thinking out loud.

          Sina, I don’t know what these folks do for a living or otherwise; I’m basing my criticism on the claims made here. No matter how completely these folks absorb the language into their bodies or impart Google transformations on original texts, I wouldn’t advise readers looking for an accurate model of the original to search here.

          • On February 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

            Fair enough, Henry. Fair enough. But of course what is an accurate translation of the original? I’ll give your interview with Kent on translation a read and think on it.

      • On February 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

        “These hi-jinks strike me as effete, decadent. They exhibit bad faith toward the primary & rather humble duty of the translator : to the accuracy of the carry-over.”

        Really?

        It’s interesting that some of the people who engage in these practices are also serious, actively translating commercially and in “accurate” literary translations. I think they understand the room for play in the craft they have, many of them, been engaging in, some in three languages, over their lifetimes.

    • On February 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

      “but as benjamin knew and strove to remind us, the processes in translation need not be willfully obfuscatory and bureaucratic and avant for them to be wild and alien.”
      I’d like to see where you locate this in Benjamin James…

    • On February 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

      “conceptual-artist-hacks: that the procedure described doesn’t actually attend to any actual practice”

      It’s a big world of poetry out there. What makes you bother with conceptual poetry if you’re not interested? Surely there are lots of poets who you might better commune with.

      • On February 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm james stotts wrote:

        why?
        profanation is a vital function to art, vis-a-vis the community.
        this is small example of a broad tendency–bad writers with built-in excuses.
        and, important work is being done right alongside the not-so-important. there are kent johnson’s in the mix, and i don’t wan’t to miss out.
        and, the crap–i’m not seeking it out, exactly, i’m drowning in it.

        • On February 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

          bad writers with built-in excuses…

          So your policing the poetry scene? I’m seriously asking because I don’t understand. Still I suppose, I just don’t understand why people are so interested in thinking about all this bad work…seriously, if it’s so bad, why don’t we hear about other stuff? Stuff that excites you, for instance.

          I’m looking for work that excites me, that makes me want to think and write more work…

          It’s an honest question.

          • On February 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm james stotts wrote:

            the stuff that excites me is right around the bend. i can’t see it from here. i can navigate (which doesn’t sound so fascist as ‘police’) the poetry scene, but i can’t prophesy.

            what i’m interested in here, specifically, is a mechanics of betrayal with its origins in a particular practice (translation) and a particular hero (benjamin).

            • On February 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

              That makes sense. I wasn’t getting that from your responses, but it would be great to hear more of that, and if you translate, etc.

              Also, I like the idea of the “possible” or that which you are looking for being just outside the periphery.

        • On February 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm Matt wrote:

          “i’m drowning in it”

          a tad melodramatic, yeah?

          isn’t “it” mostly on the computer? maybe you could take a walk, make a sandwich, read a book, watch Law & Order…

          in other words, if you want to ignore it, there’s nothing stopping you!

          • On February 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm james stotts wrote:

            all excellent suggestions, matt. i’m out.

  • On February 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm Peter Greene wrote:

    @J. Stotts: ! (forced to agree, but !)
    P

  • On February 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    James,

    I don’t presume to speak for them, but I don’t think either Thom or David Larsen is proposing that such experiments trump more conventional modes of translation practice, or render them less necessary. The idea, a healthy one, it seems to me, is that the practice and spirit of “translation” can always be pushed into new areas, new dimensions. I put “translation” in quotes because (Henry’s confident claim notwithstanding) no one really knows exactly what translation is, anymore than anyone knows exactly what poetry is… Thank goodness for that.

    This section from an essay I wrote in “collaboration” with Eliot Weinberger has close relevance, I think, to the matter:

    [Weinberger]: Translation is not duplication. Every reading is a new reading: why should we expect a translation to be identical?

    [Me]: It is because we can’t expect this that translation practice, in the end, lacks true epistemic boundary or location. It is a spectrum, and translations will mark their distances and velocities along different spectral points of its red-shift range. To be sure, “faithfulness” is the normative ideal of our practice. But I’d propose that freer, imitative gestures — those speeding away, as it were, from fixed points of observation — can sometimes reveal senses and measures in the original that are otherwise lost.

    The analogy has its limitations, of course… But poet-translators once practiced free imitation without restraint, infused their imaginations and visions into the source, in spirit of tribute and reverence. Why have we mostly lost this? Why is such practice no longer considered part of translation’s legitimate reach? As I asked in another piece, written on the topic of imitation, “If we can have the works of, say, both Brahms and Cage understood as Music, the art of both Watteau and Duchamp understood as Painting, the writing of both Tennyson and Mac Low understood as Poetry, why can’t we imagine that the task of Translation might extend, for the sake of certain purposes, beyond the relatively delimited protocols and horizons that currently “define” the practice? One never knows what might happen: Once upon a time, for example, a very unfaithful translation by a Scot named James Macpherson was translated into German, and German Romanticism was born.

  • On February 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    >no one really knows exactly what translation is, anymore than anyone knows exactly what poetry is

    Er, “any more,” in the spirit of translation…

  • On February 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm james stotts wrote:

    from ‘the task of the translator’ (tr., from the german, by h. zohn):

    [benjamin has just posited that languages are interrelated in their purposeful manifestations (i.e., core human expression)]–
    ‘with this attempt at an explication our study appears to rejoin, after futile detours, the trad. theory of translation. if the kinship of languages is to be demonstrated by translations, how else can this be done but by conveying the form and meaning of the original as accurately as possible.’
    and we can actually look at his translations to see that the process he is concerning himself with is what we would normally recognize as translation, and assume then that the utter strangeness of language and its manipulations as he discusses them are taking place in such a kind of translation. that is, benjamin is finding out for us strangeness, not manufacturing it.

    translating, of course, is not ‘for’ the reader, as benjamin emphatically agrees. it seems to me that since the whole deal is: where do we waste our energies as translators? the answer, it seems to me, is not ‘on theory,’ but ‘on reading.’
    reading is the thing we can never do well enough, and i’ll just say in terms of psychology there is a very powerful kind of automatic translation that starts when you become a good reader of an ‘other’ text. it begs to be understood in native terms. a reading of a poem not only changes from time to time, but it has a force which actively transforms it into self-defined meaning.

  • On February 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm james stotts wrote:

    if translation is undertaken as a way to bring one’s own embodiments forward, to acknowledge one’s neighbors & community, to prove avant bona-fides, well that’s a diffusion of energies, a mode of distraction. it means, using the text as a platform for the ego. there are, of course, a whole school of ‘writers’ (i’m thinking of k. goldstiffy here) who’s stunts are just that, ways of getting attention, and are not as ingenious as they might seem.
    as a matter of fact, language being what it is, the translator’s biases, embodiments, community, etc. are all always exerting implicit influences on a text’s forms as it is translated. and, i assume, all translations are necessarily carried out in ‘real time.’ so there is nothing esp. radical about those parts of the process, the only especial thing is the translator’s desire in the above case to take credit for their happening.
    this is the congame i have in mind, not that great writers (yes, i do believe in them) don’t play these games, too, sometimes. the question is, are they good enough to get away with it? the avant has a tendency to belittle their precursors as old-fashioned (as if that meant anything) as a defense mechanism, as they can’t come to terms with them. we are very late in the game, so i understand this impulse, but being as we are so late, it is comically immature.

  • On February 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    So suddenly criticism is out of order? We’re not allowed to question the presumption of a “creative” project which puts on the mantle of translation, but is only a simulated “play” with translation as its (unreal) mode?

    There’s a relativism involved in the dismissal of such criticism which perfectly parallels the dismissal of “accuracy” as a dimension of translation. Obviously by accuracy I do not mean perfect equivalence : languages & the cultures they stem from & help form differ one from another; rather accuracy is a standard, a goal, of the translator who wants to impart to the reader, as fully as possible, the shape & intentions & implications of the original.

    Translation is not the same as creation. The translator is not using the original as fodder or material for his or her OWN creative endeavors : to do so is something completely different, which, while it might be fun & worthwhile in its own right, is no substitute for real translation, since it actually INTRUDES ON & BLOCKS the clear transmission or re-creation of the original. The attempt to claim the aegis of Benjamin for such creative projects, & call it “translation”, is… as James Stotts said better than I can, simply… bogus.

  • On February 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    What seems ironic to me is the defensiveness with which people are claiming that criticism of what they’re calling “translation” is not fair. “Why don’t you go away & let us play our games with words?” these folks are saying. They’re saying that the meanings of words are completely elastic : you & I can have totally diverse understandings of the word “translation” – who cares? Nothing you can say effects me, because we have different definitions of “translation”… etc…

    I think this is what they were saying while they built the Tower of Babel. Translation is meaningless because words have no definable meaning.

  • On February 3, 2010 at 9:16 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    Without accuracy there is nothing to share. Without truth there is no common ground upon which to meet.

    • On February 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm Matt wrote:

      “truth”

      another knee-slapper

      • On February 4, 2010 at 12:26 am Henry Gould wrote:

        hee-haw, hee-haw, see-saw…

  • On February 4, 2010 at 12:18 am Henry Gould wrote:

    J. Stotts (I think) & I are simply registering a protest. Take it for what you like. It’s simply another voice in this conversation. A protest of some kind.

    Here’s a lengthy passage from “The discourse of nature in the poetry of Paul Celan”, by Rochelle Tobias (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006). I find it apropos.

    “In ‘Der Meridien’ Celan notes the dangers of a techne-driven art and, by extension, a techne-driven world, in which singular, unrepeatable dates (Daten) become mere data (Daten) included on ‘[der] stoternden / Informationsmast’ (GW, 2:120) (the stuttering/information mast). Art, he writes, has the ‘gift of ubiquity’ which is an attribute usually reserved for God. In this case, however, art’s ubiquity is also its weakness, specifically its inability to die, to be human. It exists exclusively as a semblance of life, as the examples Celan cites from Buchner’s work demonstrate. Art is the realm ‘in dem die Affengestalt, die Automaten und damit… ach, auch die Kunst zuhause zu sie scheinen’ (GW, 3: 192) (in which the monkey figures, the mechanical devices and… o, yes, art too seems to be at home). Art in short ‘apes’ (nachaffen) or mimics, life; hence Celan’s emphasis on ‘die Affengestalt’ (monkey figures) as the quintessential example of art. The danger of such mimicry is that it alienates man from himself. It leads him to forget himself in favor of the guises that art furnishes: ‘Wer Kunst vor Augen und im Sinn hat… der ist selbstvergessen. Kunst schafft Ich-Ferne’ (GW, 3:193) (Those who have art before their eyes and in their heads… are lost to themselves. Art generates self-estrangement).
    “Poetry for Celan represents a form of resistance to such self-estrangement since it is the expression of an individual who speaks ‘unter dem Neigungswinkel seines Daseins, dem Neigungswinkel seiner Kreaturlichkeit’(GW 3: 197) (under the angle of inclination of his being, under the angle of inclination of his creaturliness). The ‘angle of inclination’ Celan speaks of here, which comes from crystallography [HG note : cf. Mandelstam on "crystallography"], is the unique bent of an individual, who projects a future based on a set of irreversible cirucmstances form the past, circumstances that can best be described as fateful, such as the position of stars at one’s birth, or in Celan’s case the missed farewell to his parents, who in June 1942 were deported to a camp in Transnistria, where they died. Becuase this bent is unique, it can scarcely be registered in words. Wods must by definition be repeatable if they are to have meaning in different contexts. The expression of this bent is for Celan the ‘event’ of poetry. Poetry is by necessity obscure, although this does not mean it is either hermetic or opaque, since it can only honor what is unique or what has no likeness if it suspends art in its mimetic operations : ‘vielleicht versagen gerade hier die Automaten – fur diesen einmaligen kurzen Augenblick?’ (GW : 3:96) (perhaps this is where all the mechanical devices break down – for just a single, short moment). In other words, poetry can only surmount art through what Celan calls ‘a distance perhaps projected from the self’ (GW 3:195) to stall the very self-estrangement that art brings about. Celan’s oft-cited comment ‘die Kunsterweitern? Nein. Sondern geh mit der Kunst in deine allereigenste Enge. Und setze dich frei’ (GW 3:200) (Expand art? No. Go with art into your very own corner. And set yourself free) bears directly on this operation. Distance can only be projected from a position of constraint, in which the choke hold of art is met by a turning of the breath, eine Atemwende. Poetry interrupts the mechanisms of art not only for the sake of the self but also for the sake of an encounter with another who has left an indelible mark on the self, indeed, who has shaped the ‘angle of inclination of one’s being, the angle of inclination of one’s creaturliness.’” (Tobias, “The Discourse of nature in the poetry of Paul Celan”, JHP, 2006; pp. 115-116).

    • On February 4, 2010 at 12:24 am Henry Gould wrote:

      p.s. please pardon my typos. I think what this eloquent statement registers is the ineradicable distinction between poetry (as testament) and art (as conceptual con-game, as ploy – as projection, simulation, monkey biz).

  • On February 4, 2010 at 12:34 am Henry Gould wrote:

    I would like to know how people understand this critiqaue as a reflection on their “simulated” translations of texts from the past; their “hoaxes”; their appropriations…. it’s not a condemnation : it’s a conversation.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 12:38 am Henry Gould wrote:

      How about looking at system-generated google “translations” in relation to colonialist appropriations of “native” texts? Do you recognize yourselves, friends? Do you see the implicit imperialism involved? Every “translation project” effaces a previous poem – a previous context, a history, a location…

      • On February 4, 2010 at 12:42 am Henry Gould wrote:

        Accuracy, accuracy…

        ” There is the world dimensional for
        those untwisted by the love of things
        irreconcilable … “

  • On February 4, 2010 at 8:24 am Sina Queyras wrote:

    it’s not a condemnation it’s a conversation…

    I guess I don’t see that Henry, to be fair. It is, as you say, a protest.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 10:52 am Rachel wrote:

    Henry up thread you wrote:

    “James, when they ask you if you’d like to “go for a conceptual drive in my car”, always say no. The process involves misreading traffic signs, signals, & other cars. The results are disturbing & usually involve hospitalization in the nearest Conceptual Clinic (don’t go there, either).

    These hi-jinks strike me as effete, decadent. They exhibit bad faith toward the primary & rather humble duty of the translator : to the accuracy of the carry-over.”

    I was reminded of something Kent Johnson wrote in another thread:

    “Alas, Rachel, ours is not exactly an age of satire…
    Even Robert Pinsky has complained about the lack of it.
    Actually, there’s arguably more taste for the satirical within the “S of Q” than there is within the “avant.””

    At the time I thought, more’s the pity; that road leads to decadence.

    Thom wrote:

    “Brown is part of a continuum of translation practices situated within an avant garde tradition. Yet, more importantly, his translation work partakes of a recent trend of poets and translators wanting to bring their embodiments to the foreground, and to mediate the process of translation/writing through socio-political responsibilities and inflections of community. As though, a la Fluxus or a live art tradition, to admit art’s embroilments in a life being lived in relation to others. Brown’s work moves at the pace of life, and among a community and nexus of friendship that he addresses partially by involving them collaboratively in the process of translation, but as much so by making them part of the content of the work.”

    The idea of reading to an audience of friends and collaborators, while at the same time wanting to extend community and build bridges, came up in the other thread as well. Mulling this over last night, I wondered: Is this where identity politics/poetry has led us, but I see you have beaten me to the question:

    “How about looking at system-generated google “translations” in relation to colonialist appropriations of “native” texts? Do you recognize yourselves, friends? Do you see the implicit imperialism involved? Every “translation project” effaces a previous poem – a previous context, a history, a location…”

    I think there is room for both avant and old-fashioned forms of translation. If an avant translator twittered the collaborative translation process, s/he could call it, tweelations, twansleetions or twitterlations.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 11:02 am Peter Greene wrote:

      “If an avant translator twittered the collaborative translation process, s/he could call it, tweelations, twansleetions or twitterlations.”.

      It is so hard for me to accept twootering. A flock I’m not, tho the Fibonacci twistings of schools and flights is pretty to behold from here in my human eye-holes. I wait for the day when smart dust makes ghosts and shadows of us all, to the very mosquito, to the last paramecium. Then I’ll feel linked.

      P

    • On February 4, 2010 at 11:45 am Henry Gould wrote:

      Yes, I know, I sounded like a crabby Jeremiah there. & I apologize for that. I’m just annoyed by what I read there, sorry. It seems like a creative-collective joy-ride for smart people who don’t feel the necessity to actually compose poetry or atcually translate something faithfully. & in the meantime appropriating the honorable title “translator” for what they’re doing. I would like to find another name for it.

      • On February 4, 2010 at 11:57 am Thom Donovan wrote:

        “faithfully”
        I would reiterate that the notion of fidelity or faithfulness is what Benjamin’s essay/legacy throws radically into question.

        likewise that of Celan, whose poetry resounds with a transliterative spirit far beyond any simplistic “carry-over.”

    • On February 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      “I would reiterate that the notion of fidelity or faithfulness is what Benjamin’s essay/legacy throws radically into question.”

      Um, how? You can reiterate all you like, but the medievalesque practice of citing Authorities doesn’t hold much water with me, as an argument.

      Celan was writing poetry. He didn’t call it “translation”, as far as I know. He also worked as a professional translator, & translated poetry he loved. As far as I know, he didn’t put these distinct practices in a blender. Some of his translations may be closer to “versions”, or R. Lowell’s “imitations” (ie. “free”, idiosyncratic) – but I don’t know about that.

      • On February 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm Jill wrote:

        It’s funny that you apologize for being a crabby Jeremiah, and then you go on and keep doing it! That’s some bad behavior, Henry. I know I shouldn’t reward you with any kind of response, but I also keep doing the same dumb thing over and over. Alas. But anyways, I think it’s great that you get so worked up about this stuff, because it IS a radical idea. Poetry is a mysterious and useless thing, but you still want it to be useful in a very traditional way. You have compatriots in this quest for sure–you and Ted Kooser can use your poetry home repair kits to make some prosey lines! But my advice (unsolicited) is for you to let go of these crabby notions and abide in the mystery.

        • On February 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

          doesn’t make for much of an antinomian does he?

          • On February 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm Henry Gould wrote:

            So you want to get personal… & um, what does antinomianism have to do with this? You like to think of yourself as a rebel translator? Wowzee.

            • On February 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

              well Henry, you wrote the following under my post “Commoning part II”…

              “I understand the intoxicating joy of commons & communion. I’ve been there, too. But don’t turn it into shallow rhetoric. Have the humility to recognize the common history of your own culture, which includes & welcomes a lot of dissent & baroque difference – & has for the last 300 yrs or so (since my ancestors were kicked out of Boston, for following Anne Hutchinson).”

              curious given your comments here

              • On February 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm Henry Gould wrote:

                point taken. my apologies to you.

        • On February 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm Henry Gould wrote:

          Hey Jill, I’m just responding to comments. Having a conversation. It’s a laugh riot.

          “Poetry is a mysterious and useless thing, but you still want it to be useful in a very traditional way.”

          Poetry is mysterious, yes. Not sure how useless it is : that’s a complicated issue.

          But we were talking about translation, not poetry. I take poetry & its contexts seriously : that’s why I value translations that try to provide as close & careful an equivalent, in my native tongue, of the foreign language in the original.

          • On February 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm Matt wrote:

            so basically the world is just too small for both traditional and crazy translations… yep, can’t have both. what we MUST do is have a big argument about which one is better. winning is everything! because there can be only one… HIGHLANDER.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 10:57 am Peter Greene wrote:

    My good Gog, even my bad MaGog, what a bicker! Translation is rigorous. Translation is an art. Art cannot endure rigour forever. Translation cannot function without it.

    The resulting schizophrenia is demonstrated plainly in the pain everyone here is undergoing.

    The thing to do is to undergo the separation of the corpus callosum. Voila! No more communication – no more conflict! Translation becomes perfect. UN translators have it done all the time. Creepy, but that’s the Muse for you, she kinky.

    P

    • On February 4, 2010 at 10:59 am Peter Greene wrote:

      @Self: Really good translations is neither transliteration nor translation (which implies change-into-another), but transmigration. See: Michael Kandel.

      P

  • On February 4, 2010 at 11:17 am Peter Greene wrote:

    final note – i agree with an earlier poster about avantslation (owwwwch) being a platform for the ego, a striving for attention on the part of the translator – but i don’t think that’s a bad or unnecessary thing. hell, i used to collect bric-a-bracs. We all go through changes.

    P

    ps – ego is not a bad thing – it’s YOU.

    and me.

    P

  • On February 4, 2010 at 11:56 am Kent Johnson wrote:

    >I would like to find another name for it.

    Erin Moure, superb poet and translator (her methods in the latter span a range), calls “it” translucination.

    Traduction is another term.

    In the Renaissance (when they stole like crazy and didn’t think anything of it) they called it imitation.

    Maybe these things, if things they be, are a bit to translation what the prose poem, say, is to “Poetry.”

    Though can’t say I’m sure…

    • On February 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      well, that’s getting closer. “transformations” might be a word (since it relates to the operations mathematicians do on existing formulae).

      “In the Renaissance (when they stole like crazy and didn’t think anything of it) they called it imitation.”

      - OK, but the only reason we, today, know ANYTHING definite about the Renaissance, is because authors, translators & historians made good faith efforts to transmit accurate texts.

      • On February 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

        Well, this is problematic. Renaissance writers often took great liberties with classical texts– and in ways that certainly trouble easy notions of “good faith” and the “faithful.”

        • On February 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm Henry Gould wrote:

          What I’m saying is, how do you know that, Kent? Because we have accurate knowledge of the originals against which to check deviations. & whence cameth that accurate knowledge, sir?

          • On February 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

            Why, through diverse array of translation practices, Sir!

            These being some faithful and others less so. For it is a variegated pleasure, Sir, this matter we call Translation!

            And now, may I beg that you would you pass me that fine sauce for this excellent Roast?

            • On February 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

              Man, I try to sound like Boswell quoting Johnson, and then I mess it up like that…

            • On February 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm Henry Gould wrote:

              “sauce” & “roast” can mean an awful lot of different things, Kent… & since ultimately no language accurately represents “reality”, and everything’s relative, & there’s no such thing as truth… what you see as “roast” I see as fresh goat manure, unfortunately… but let me pass it to you. Here, my hand… I hold it toward you.

              • On February 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

                You read too much into my words, Sir.

                A roast is a roast is a roast, on this traduced occasion.

                Please pass the Horace, in Ben Jonson’s excellent translucination.

      • On February 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm J. Townsend wrote:

        But written “history”/recorded culture, as with anything else that is written down, remembered, left to the device of singular perspective, is just that, a piece of the puzzle.

        poetry isn’t static or completely representative, it engages with things outside of fact. (what is accuracy reaching toward?)

        history is written by the people with the guns and money. not much stake can be put in that.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

    Thanks, I have appreciated hearing some substantive unpacking of your responses to the initial thread. The practice of translation is nothing if not a complicated undertaking. I think Bergvall’s work is illuminating in this regard. Particularly the Dante Variations as previously posted. My thinking on translation only deepens, and conceptual practices, as much as other practices, have added to my understanding and respect for the work.

    Reading through translations of Virgil a few summers back while preparing for an essay on Lisa Robertson, I was absolutely stunned at the variations and what each brought to the original text. I would be hard pressed to chose one…similarly looking at various translations of Sappho.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      Hey Sina, it’s language we’re talking about, & poetry…. variation is inevitable, wonderful, & absolutely necessary. But you don’t have variation without continuity, recurrence – which is a function of faithfulness to the original.

      “conceptual practices”…. another thing I hate. Conceptual this, conceptual that… every instance of such usage is an example of REDUNDANCY. It is REDUNDANT to call these things conceptual. EVERYTHING involved with literature, writing & translation is ALREADY conceptual…

      • On February 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

        “conceptualist” is a short hand within a discourse

  • On February 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

    another thing I hate…

    That’s what I’m talking about…wow…grumpy and repetitive about it too. Sorry if the plebes out here aren’t quite in line with your thinking Henry. Maybe we come to it our own way? My students can read between the lines, come to thing with an open, yet critical mind. I just don’t get it. Why should I care about what you hate?

    I would rather hear about what you’re thinking, openly in response, as you were doing a bit ago.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      I’m not hating anybody, Sina. It’s called straight talk, being up front. I strongly dislike the arty usage of the phrase “conceptual [fill the blank]“, because I find it pretentious & redundant.

      • On February 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm Sina Queyras wrote:

        Ding. Light bulb on. Lesson learned. Out.

      • On February 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm Bhanu Kapil wrote:

        The immigrant artist or writer might use this word for the book because the book is still forming. Why can’t it “form”? I understand conceptual writing as writing with a broken heart, for example. How the book fails, where it splits, is very close to these other experiences a body might have. Thus: not “artsy.” Sensate. Fibrillatory. Lived.

        • On February 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm Henry Gould wrote:

          I usually call that kind of book unfinished.

          • On February 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm Bhanu Kapil wrote:

            When we die, we burst. Something leaves us. The question of completion recirculates to haunt our descendants, who leave sugar, milk and paper for us on the mantlepiece, which gets us, and them, I suppose, through the night.

        • On February 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

          Thus: not “artsy.” Sensate. Fibrillatory. Lived.

          the life and the work are one. autobiography, as in Bhanu’s work, writes the life. it in-forms…

          to come back to Brandon’s work: he is trying to inject translation work with the life and the body.

          he is bringing bodies/lifestyles/decisions to the foreground within a tradition of wanting life and art to confuse, conflate, and collapse.

          a desideratum against our alienation

    • On February 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

      while we’re at it Sina… (and this goes back to my post on “desiring criticism”). it is astounding that Henry (among others) with all his where-with-all and passion for poetry, and with so many examples of what he does not like (“hates”), does not start his own reading series, or magazine, or press. you know, like co-produce the things he would like to have in the world, and see cared for by others… it is the great contradiction I see in the debate about nagative criticism at Harriet so far: why don’t you mobilize for the things you would like to affirm? the things, dare I say it, that you love. if the things that I am digging, like the vital correspondence David and Brandon are having through their work, have the world so topsy turvy, publish and edit different kinds of translators/translations. with blogs and PDFs and xeroxes and print-on-demand and design software one can put things out pretty easily nowadays… anyway, I stand by Duncan’s phrase “the poet goes where they are loved.” and I would modify: the poet creates the places where they can love…

      • On February 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

        Um, Thom, fine sentiments, but you seem to be forgetting Harriet is a place for open discussion and disagreement? Henry, James (Henry James!), or whoever don’t have to go “start their own series or magazine” if they want to debate with one of your posts!

        You can tell someone to do that if they laugh at the wrong time at a SEGUE reading, I suppose. But you really shouldn’t tell someone that here…

      • On February 4, 2010 at 1:32 pm Henry Gould wrote:

        Dig the ad hominem, Thom. You want to know my bio? I’ve done many a positive thing over the years… including editing, translating, running a magazine, running several readings series, editing/publishing a famous translator (Edwin Honig), etc… but I don’t need to defend myself. You should go back to trying to defend your statements, instead…

        • On February 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

          I think it’s funny how “ad hominem” is a shibboleth for something bad or immoral at Harriet. I personally feel that the life/person and the work are not separate…

          • On February 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

            >I think it’s funny how “ad hominem” is a shibboleth for something bad or immoral at Harriet. I personally feel that the life/person and the work are not separate…

            Seriously? Does this mean that if you object to an aesthetic that you object to (or think less of) a *person* who holds it?

            Speaking for myself, and at the risk of sounding patently ridiculous, some of the finest people I’ve known hold exact opposite tastes in poetry from my own.

            • On February 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm Bhanu Kapil wrote:

              I recently turned down an adulterous cappucinno (sp?) with a Republican. But not because of his politics.

              • On February 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

                Hopefully not because of his poetry, either!

                • On February 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

                  well, the poetry speaks of/for the person. it is involved with their life–grows out of it and enfolds it. so I guess I feel differently. tho I would never dismiss a friend because I didn’t like a poem they wrote or something like that. in fact, “liking” and “disliking” seem truly ad hominem here: beside the point as Matt reminds us, as though art were just “good” or “bad” and not incredibly dependent on their social-historical context for value… but we’ve been over this before. what I’m talking about is life, and a sense that art/poetry have consequences in our life. I just conducted an interview that addresses this issue. perhpas something to take up in a later post…

        • On February 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm Matt wrote:

          it’s not ad hominem. people always get this wrong. ad hominem isn’t just bringing up something “personal”, it’s bringing up something that’s *irrelevant*. if it’s relevant, as thom’s comment here is, it’s not ad hominem.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm John Oliver Simon wrote:

    Conceptual translation as a twee thang can only exist in relation to very standard texts. Even Brandon Brown has to go to a straight translation if he wants to know what Catullus wrote. A plethora of pre-existing inventive and scholarly Catulli gives his project elbow-room to transgress while googling fedorae.

    As for me, I’ve been translating contemporary Latin American poets for three decades, and published over 500 of my translations in journals, anthologies, and collections. For instance, in 2008 Tameme brought out a chapbook of my translucidations of Jorge Fernández Granados, by all odds the foremost Mexican poet born in the 1960′s. If you want to know what the Mexican poets, in the words of Frank O’Hara, are doing these days, are you going to go to my work (or Mark Schafer on David Huerta), or to Brandon Brown writing with a paper bag over his head?

    That said, even we staid straight (or, maybe, gay) translators know that accuracy is fickle and there is an inevitable quantum space between faithfulness and sparkle.

    Right now, I’m working on and with the Uruguayan poet Eduardo Milán, who is something of a neobarroco. If you want to know more about the Neo-Baroque, certainly the most important poetry movement in Latin America in the last thirty years, ask a translator. Anyway, Milán habitually cascades from sense to sense through a playful realm of echolalia. Often I’ll choose analogous word-play in English over straight content. Va sin decir.

    Odi et amo. Oldies ate ammo.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

      thanks for this John. your translation work on Eduardo Milán sounds super interesting. where can it be found?

      • On February 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm John Oliver Simon wrote:

        My Eduardo Milán versions are still so far unpublished… some 15 of them will be in the Uruguay antho that Kent is editing… I’m always sending, or meaning to send, some more out… anybody who’s editing out there who’d like to see a batch, let me know.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      >there is an inevitable quantum space between faithfulness and sparkle.

      No argument with this. All I’m saying is that you need BOTH to dance. I think that’s what you’re saying, too… if I’m conceptualizing & paraphrasing your statement correctly.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

      >If you want to know what the Mexican poets, in the words of Frank O’Hara, are doing these days, are you going to go to my work (or Mark Schafer on David Huerta), or to Brandon Brown writing with a paper bag over his head?

      OK! Good one.

      Then again, to know what Lorca “was doing those days,” I wouldn’t want to be without the ravaging Spicer, right next to my old faithful New Directions. Or without Chapman, in the mix, with Homer! Or…

    • On February 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm John Sakkis wrote:

      hi there John/ harriets,

      just a quick thing…brandon brown is extremely proficient in Latin. brandon brown is also extremely proficient in Ancient Greek. brandon brown is not as proficient in Arabic, though he’s been studying it for a few years now…point is, brandon is in more than few ways a Classicist…his current translation practice is an extension of that.

      thanks!
      john

      • On February 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm John Sakkis wrote:

        and i forgot. my comment was in response to this

        “Even Brandon Brown has to go to a straight translation if he wants to know what Catullus wrote. A plethora of pre-existing inventive and scholarly Catulli gives his project elbow-room to transgress while googling fedorae.”

        xo

      • On February 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

        thanks John. I should have mentioned this earlier… ugh!

  • On February 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm pam lu wrote:

    Constance Garnett taught me how to write English like a Russian, which to me meant finding traces of the Asian in the European. I imagined us sharing that cold mountainous border traversed by samovars of tea. But possibly she just taught me how to write like Constance Garnett.

    My highschool translations of Virgil sounded nothing like Mandelbaum’s or Fitzgerald’s. My friends and I rendered lines into a combination of antiquated literalisms and contemporary slang. Instantly Dido became hip, her dynamic emotionalism translated to the rush of the adolescent moment. We longed for Dido: The Sequel. Aeneas, on the other hand, remained timeless and stick-in-the-mud till the bitter end; nothing, not even our 21 Jump Street patter, could induce him to speak.

    • On February 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm Thom Donovan wrote:

      beautiful Pam! traces, resonances, points of contact. there is an erotic bond which also connects languages.
      and this often is extremely personal…

      • On February 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm pam lu wrote:

        especially if you’re seventeen, your parents are speaking another language in the other room, your friends all speak different languages at home, and there’s lots of junk food piled at your feet!

    • On February 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm james stotts wrote:

      the errata are my desiderata–

      pam, it’s funny you should bring up constance garnett, whom generations of translators have been trying to ‘correct.’ think pevear and volokhonsky, going back over all that ground and making ‘more accurate translations.’ garnett was an amazing woman, and a fascinating case of what’s so powerful about translating for the translator’s own sake, as her mission was an education in the writers she took on and the language that they forced her into, being that she largely taught herself russian after visiting yasnaia polyana and meeting tolstoy (hence the many mistakes) through the herculean task of translating the russian century. criticizing her work, which many have done, isn’t in any way to denigrate her. and i have to say, how could you not like much of the new work that’s being done on old work? we are all participating in a spectral family romance when we contaminate and allow ourselves to be contaminated through the language barrier. which is to say, it gets dirty…

      • On February 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm pam lu wrote:

        that’s fascinating about garnett, james. i didn’t know any of that. i’d love to go back and read some of these newer russian translations someday & compare. would also love to read the newer proust translations by davis & others, and see how the long experience contrasts with moncrieff’s proust.

        spectral family romance is right. hamill and seaton make chuang tzu sound like a norcal surfer at times. which i enjoy and find temperamentally apt.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    >well, the poetry speaks of/for the person. [see Thom's extraordinary full comment above]

    Thom,

    posting this down here, as the replies are now going vertical.

    We need to be careful with this stuff, I think. Once you start mixing up poethood and personhood, things can go weird very fast.

    Let me just give you, via a sort of thought-experiment, a simple example of that, taking your comment above to a conclusion:

    It is, for instance, an obvious fact that people in the post-avant wouldn’t be writing the poetry they are today, various as it most certainly is, without the poetry and poetics advanced by Pound. We just wouldn’t be where we are. I mean, in the sense that we flat-out wouldn’t poetically exist (the NAP would never have existed, the Langpos wouldn’t have followed, etc. etc.) So Pound is deep in the genes; he’s a root. There are all sorts of ground assumptions (and secondary, derived beliefs) about poetry that people “like” you and I more or less share because of him and his orbit (among whom were numerous other racists, misogynists, closet supporters of the Vichy, and the like).

    OK, now following what you affirm above, we can’t really separate Pound’s radical modernism from his racism and fascism. There would be a deep connection between his poetics and his reactionary person. Even vice versa, so far as I can make out from your comment. That’s what you are saying, right? So, it follows, doesn’t it, that to the extent the poetics of you and your peers cannot fully be separated from the poetic legacy of a raging anti-Semite and fascist, well, then *your very person and poetics* cannot be cleanly separated, if you pause just a bit to think about it, from anti-Semitic and fascist impulses, their entangled formal enactments, and their extended legacy, however sublimated the Ur-force may by now be. If the poetical is foundationally political and personal, then you have the poetics of fascism deep inside you. (And if so, I for one would much rather hang with New Formalists at the Georgianism Cafe, than persecute the Other at SEGUE, I suppose.)

    Do you see what I mean? You can dismiss my small thought experiment, if you like; but it’s bizarre, ridiculous outcome is the general logical location towards which (if you *are* serious and consistent) such simplistic 1960s-type ideology is going to lead you.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm john wrote:

    Kent,

    Pound is an odd example. What a central figure! Thought experiments such as, “If he didn’t exist,” we can save for Star Trek and Frank Capra movies. (Film scenario: Ezra Pound considering suicide, an angel intervenes and shows him what American poetry would be like without him . . . )

    I love the poets he influenced more than I love him — Williams, Olson, H.D., M. Moore, Bunting, Zukofsky, Laughlin, Oppen, Eliot, to name some who knew him personally as young poets — and the reason I don’t love his poetry has to do with how it reflects his . . . character. Though I do love his translations . . . (A cliche position, I know, and ably destroyed by Kenner . . . )

    And on the whole, yes, artists and their works need not reflect each others’ characters. This might be clearer in music: Many great musicians have been jerks. Gesualdo murdered his wife and her lover before he wrote his best stuff!

  • On February 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    John,

    Well, I think my quick and quirky thought experiment may hold some interest.

    For if poetical affiliation so manifestly bears forth ethical denomination, and vice versa (as Thom has claimed with such vigor, justifying what he proudly refers to as his “ad hominem” attack on a perfectly intelligent contrarian here), then one must see and grant–after working backwards, genealogically, and without much labor–that American “experimental poetry” has fascist codes and drives implanted all through its DNA!

    Do you see my point, Clarence?

    Of course, I don’t think that. I mean, I don’t think that The New Sentence, for example, is fascist. My point, rather, is that this “poetical is personal” disease (which in fairness to Thom, I should say, runs rampant through the body poetic of the post-avant–he’s just honest enough to say it openly) has certain “implications.” It behooves us to reflect on them. You can’t have your Commons and eat your Others, too. Or at least that’s one way of putting it.

    By the way, fast quiz: Who said this?

    “The day following the atomic blast!– the poor Jews who accomplished it. Now we’ll hate them worse than ever.”

  • On February 4, 2010 at 11:36 pm thom donovan wrote:

    I don’t doubt fascism is in the blood stream/gene pool (as is racism, and misogyny, and all kinds of bad stuff left over from history and active now in our present). I don’t need to study Pound to know this. in fact, I don’t feel the need to read or study Pound at all, though like John above I love many of the poets who follow after his poetics, many of whom are also contradictory, and difficult, and culpable. you act here Kent like fascism is reducible to its manifestation in Europe during the 30s and 40s. but of course it is live and well, and is something that the person and the poem both negotiate constantly. all the more reason to attend the somatic/poetic as somatic. because it can be a site of horrible malignancy…

    • On February 5, 2010 at 12:32 am Bhanu Kapil wrote:

      “…all the more reason to attend the somatic/poetic as somatic. because it can be a site of horrible malignancy…”: completely worth the vertical delirium of this comment stream.

  • On February 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    >in fact, I don’t feel the need to read or study Pound at all

    Well, I’d encourage you to reconsider.

    It seems a bit like a smart young poet in 1710 saying he doesn’t feel the need to read or study Ben Jonson.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:18 am john wrote:

    Kent, yes, I see your point, and agree.

    WCW said that. (Did I learn that on another Harriet thread? Read it recently somewhere . . . Nope, just Googled — read it — reread it — in a Weinberger essay. About Yasusada! Imagine you having read that essay too! It *is* a terrific essay, by the way — it’s where I first heard of Yasusada, years ago.)

    The Western tradition since the Renaissance at least is predicated on Empire, down to our own day. Anybody enjoying the fruits of empire is implicated, at least as a dependent. What we do with that knowledge, how it relates to poetry — well, life is complex, why shouldn’t poetry be? And the joys of life can be predicated on momentary unconsciousness of horrible news — our delightful chat here while millions starve — why shouldn’t poetry be — among many other things as well — one of the joys of life? If poetry was possible and not by-definition barbaric during the Middle Passage, it should be possible now as well.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:45 am john wrote:

    “a political philosophy must be a philosophy of happiness if it is not to be a monstrosity.”

    Who said that? The same poet also said:

    “too many poets tell us they are not frightened; they tell us they are not frightened because they live in a commune or because they have read some Eastern philosophers or because they smoke pot — if they are not frightened what on earth are they”

    Well — those weren’t the quote I was looking for. Alas. I was looking for something about Tone being Key, and Tone being the most elusive. I agree with the thought, because I love lyric — that how one feels about/with the world reflects one’s politics as well as one’s poetry/art/work.

    Hint: the poet has been mentioned in this thread.

    Speaking of poetics and politics, the story with which Weinberger opens his essay, which is where I found the WCW piece quoted by Kent, opens with this: “THOUGH THE STORY is scarcely believable, the example is apt: An early explorer reported that an African tribe had only one song that had only one line: ‘The King has all the power.’”

    Which reminds me of a bit in RAMEAU’S NEPHEW, where the title character waxes envious at the genius of the professional flatterer (a courtier; don’t remember his name; I’ll call him LeBeau) who, when the King was coming to visit his estate, had a book bound and printed called THE BOOK OF PERFECT HAPPINESS, which he placed on a table next to a chair where the King would be sure to sit; and on each page was printed the same sentence: “The King paid [LeBeau] a visit.”

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:48 am Thom Donovan wrote:

    the reverence for Pound. I’ve never understood it. having read Pound in college but not all that much since then. liking his translation work more than anything else…

    I would recommend reading Jay Z and Zukofsky in tandem.

    Bhanu, thank you for glitter and dung and letters from your students–all wonderful!

    I am looking forward to getting back into your comment streams. also Sina’s. the last two weeks have been wicked busy…

  • On February 5, 2010 at 3:07 am john wrote:

    Thom, I’ve never understood the reverence for Pound either; but he’s certainly a relevant guy in a discussion of the boundaries between translation and transformation.

    It’s so striking, though, to hear Pound’s tone being echoed in so many other writers — most of the people I listed *sound* like him at some point, usually early in their writing lives — so he was clearly hugely charismatic/influential. And since I love a lot of the work of Williams, Zukofsky, Oppen, Bunting, H.D., Moore, Olson, and Laughlin, I feel interested in taking their shared enthusiasm seriously, if only as a matter of historical and aesthetic curiosity.

    Regarding malignancy: your use of that word certainly discomforts me! Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, and you mean it as a word of self-reflection as well, but you have given the impression of having found malignancies in others. Such a complexly placed medical metaphor feels . . . threatening to me! Malignancies are to be cut out! I don’t want to see any daggers being thrown!

    Would be happy, of course, to be corrected of any misapprehension.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 7:48 am james stotts wrote:

    whoa, things have taken a turn for the worse! one second i’m being accused of ‘policing’ the poetry scene by someone, and someone else is laughing at any concept of truth, and when i come back downstream i realize that these people think any wrier in the western tradition is an imperialist (if lorna dee cervantes, and achebe, and thylias moss are imperialists, then it’s utterly meaningless), and they would rather ‘read’ jay-z than ezra pound.
    are you still humoring them, kent?
    if you call them frauds, they say ‘so what, aren’t you?’ you call them hypocrites, and they say ‘that’s right, but everybody is.’ well, that’s freudian–massive paranoid projections. but when they boast of their disregard for any aesthetic criteria, call themselves experts in whatever they touch, you realize that they like their cynicism pre-chewed so they can swallow it whole. the thoughts in their head are about as tender as veal, and when you pick their brains they
    fall apart w/o resistance. and all the pride would make you think this sort of thing was a delicacy. aren’t a lot of them getting their PhDs, too, getting ready to spoonfeed their garbage to a whole new generation of mole rats?
    and the next writer they promote or denounce, well it will certainly be political. it’s all a grand excercise in bad-faith.

    sorry for the vitriol, but
    the scales they are fallen from my eyes.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 9:08 am Bhanu Kapil wrote:

    Mr. Stotts, so – -it’s shit. You feel shit. It is shit to you. “Garbage.” Because it is morning and I have not yet had my first cup of tea, which is bad, I’d like to take up, somehow, the interesting part of what you say here: “How do you put the shit back into the body?” A woman called Cynthia Sailers (sp?) said this aloud about two years ago now, and I’m still thinking of it, when the subject of a “paranoid projection” comes up. Dropping the story (perhaps this is the experience of the scales dropping from your eyes, which is always complicated — not to have protective goggles on when the shit hits the fan!):

    how will you recirculate the “vitriol” in a way that doesn’t leave it out on the counter for the kids? In this pre-tea analogy, I don’t think of the kids as the next “generation of mole rats” you describe here.

    How will you put the shit back into “the mother’s body?” (That was a second or perhaps primary variation of what Cynthia Sailers said. Perhaps I should mention that it was a larger conversation about aggression and community, organized by Small Press Traffic.)

    Oh dear. I don’t wish to upset you in anyway; I am just perversely interested in what your notes here bring forward; though they seem more of an exchange with Kent rather than a public address; I apologize if I am entering a conversation that doesn’t include me.

    Well, I hope you are certainly able to have a lukewarm, caffeinated beverage to start off your day wherever you are. I hope the Western Tradition evolves today, as it does every day, a tiny bit. Good luck with that. I will try to work on it too.

    Your comrade;

    Bhanu

  • On February 5, 2010 at 10:09 am james stotts wrote:

    the problem is poundian; you aren’t so new as you think.

    “o, to chase the images in front of you, running forward after them though they are really plummeting straight down through all atmosphere, all matter, and into the earth! we should stand under, instead, with our mouths open, like the dead, who have adopted the proper posture of wisdom, only too late. or like a sink or toilet, with the filth of the gods always somewhere above.”

    profanation, the final judgment, scatology–all the logorhetics.

    public addresses will sometimes have a private aside, sometimes even to a stranger.

    even in winter–a cold soda and then a cold shower, but enjoy your tea, and с легким паром!

  • On February 5, 2010 at 10:17 am james stotts wrote:

    with all the neo-sophistry, where’s the neo-skeptic, the new socrates?

  • On February 5, 2010 at 10:22 am james stotts wrote:

    and just to keep the guessing-game gagoing–

    “precisely why students of literature have become amateur political scientists, uninformed sociologists, incompetent anthropologists, mediocre philosophers, and overdetermined cultural historians, while a puzzling matter, is not beyond all conjecture. they resent literature, or are ashamed of it, or are just not at all that fond of reading it.”

    who was that?

  • On February 5, 2010 at 10:29 am Bhanu Kapil wrote:

    “The problem is Poundian…”

    Wow. I left England for a reason. Please don’t make me have to go back! Now, that really WOULD be putting the shit back into the mother’s body….

    • On February 5, 2010 at 11:33 am Thom Donovan wrote:

      well put Bhanu!…

      re: Jay Z & Zukofsky. some day Jay Z and rap at large (and hopefully Zukofsky) will be read as border ballads are today. as language, a la Bhanu’s sentence, at a threshold/defining thresholds. only the border in rap music is not a physical one, that is, not one separating international territory. but a cultural one. culture as intensity. intensity as mark of disjunctive synthesis…

      then again, it would be nice to–in my lifetime–be able to take up Pound as a minor literature rather than required reading. the contradiction in many of the Harriet comments I’ve encountered so far is incredibly amusing to me. that there is this insistent, if not dire, call for institutional critique and for ruthless criticality a la avant garde modernisms while maintaining/policing the boundaries between cultural locations, discourses, and fields of production which a 20th century avant garde helped to erode…

  • On February 5, 2010 at 10:50 am john wrote:

    Harold Bloom?

    Not sure, but regardless — he’s such a resent-nik!

  • On February 5, 2010 at 11:56 am Kent Johnson wrote:

    Bhanu wrote,

    >I am just perversely interested in what your notes here bring forward; though they seem more of an exchange with Kent rather than a public address[...]

    Sorry, not sure I get this. After all, I was the one, at the top of this thread, who entered a clear reservation with James’s dismissive view of investigatory modes of translation!

    Now, true, the strong disagreement does not seem to have led me, or him, to conflate, in regards to each other, the “life/person and the work” (to quote from Thom’s little proto-Zhdanovian dehiscence). So maybe James (and Henry?) and I might as well be, so far as the most advanced sector of the Harriet Poetariat is concerned, in sub-rosa cahoots now, or something. :~)

    I admit it: I’d sure love James to teach me (and the rest of you) some stuff about Russian poetry. And for all I know, the darn kulak would be a great guy to go fishing with, too!

    Onward!

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm LRSN wrote:

    2 things: First, thanks to Thom for everything w/ a slight correction. I did not read from Ibn Khalawayh’s Names of the Lion last Saturday but from his Names of the Wind, along with Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyad ibn al-A’rabi’s Book of the Well and In Praise of the Rooster by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti. If you want to hear Names of the Lion, be at Johns Hopkins University’s Arellano Theater on April 15.

    The second is to make an observation about conceptual translation as practiced by Brandon and me, which takes very different forms but is motivated by similar discontents. Brandon’s project as I understand it is in open defiance of the positivist fiction of accuracy, i.e. the fantasy of a unified standard. Good translators know there is no single accuracy but a multitude of accuracies, none of which is achieved without cost to others. Or have you not considered how many aspects of expressive behavior the translator has to confront? And what decisions go into privileging one over another? Brandon has. His work dramatizes them explicitly, and if it’s not your cup of tea then fine but that’s not because he’s a fraudulent or uninformed translator.

    If you’ve seen my translation work, you know how different it is from Brandon’s. My method is to dramatize the fiction of accuracy by performing it according to the most rigorously positivist standards imaginable — precisely because they’re outmoded standards — and branding the results as “experimental poetry.” In my case the procedural spirit may be harder to recognize, because the product winds up looking like a polished sheet of Orientalist scholarship in the vein of D. S. Margoliouth. In spirit, however, I flatter myself to think it’s closer to what Brandon’s doing — staging translation in all its positivist delusion and imperialist complicity. Contrary to the proverb, the emperor wears a lot of clothes, and we think you ought to see them.

    • On February 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

      That’s a pretty big “imperialism,” I’d say.

      This might have some relation, thought I’d offer it. From Jacket, a magazine that will be–for those who haven’t heard–taken over, starting in 2011, by PennSound (to be called Jacket2). Itself a turn of events that might have some relation to issues we’ve been discussing here…
      http://jacketmagazine.com/32/k-kent.shtml

      • On February 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

        >That’s a pretty big “imperialism,” I’d say.

        I meant,

        That’s a pretty big “imperialist complicity,” I’d say.

    • On February 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      “Brandon’s project as I understand it is in open defiance of the positivist fiction of accuracy, i.e. the fantasy of a unified standard. Good translators know there is no single accuracy but a multitude of accuracies, none of which is achieved without cost to others.”

      But then, this ends up being one of those logical boxes-in-a-box, since you yourself are projecting a polemical “fiction” – a particular spin – on the nature of faithful translation.

      I would think that, in addition to the obvious fact that languages are subtle & multivalent, and that a single text can be translated in many ways, the “good translator” – especially of poetry – would keep in mind that the poet has labored to shape an utterly unique distinct work of art, an inimitable, crystallized statement; and that translation, as an act of philological love & affection, will strive to the utmost to form as close an equivalent, in the new language, to what was formed in the original.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm Mark Mitchell wrote:

    Hey Thom,

    Can you excerpt a little bit from Names of the Lion, or point me to where I can see it? It sounds great–an act of appropriation, scholarship, translation, and conception. How did he read from it?

    Thanks.

    -Mark

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    Thom wrote, accusing commenters of doing it:

    >…maintaining/policing the boundaries between cultural locations, discourses, and fields of production which a 20th century avant garde helped to erode…

    Does anyone else ever feel like it’s more or less all over, that there is just nothing, in the end, to really do, except maybe watch C.O.P.S on Fox?

    • On February 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      Why bother? it’s all on the web. Pound was just a misguided precursor of Googology. all information is biological. boundaries are malignant. ignorance is truth. everything = everything.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm john wrote:

    Kent — there’s plenty left to do! Someone on another thread — or maybe it was this one — mentioned that we’re all belated.

    No way, no way. We’re early! Our oldest traditions can be traced back . . . 40,000 years? The cave paintings? 40 millennia, give or take. With a little luck and if we don’t blow it, we have hundreds, maybe thousands of millennia to go as a species.

    We’re the ancients.

    • On February 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm Henry Gould wrote:

      >We’re the ancients.

      Yeah. & I’m one of the ancient ancients.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm john wrote:

    Thom, re Pound — a minor literature — yes! And a major influence. Maybe not unlike the Mannheim school of composers (none of whom I can name off the top of my head) who played a big influence on Mozart.

    Nobody’s requiring you to read Pound, though. We’re all free to read him or not and in however manner we wish. My own favorite book of his — and it joyously shouts “minor!” from its own back porch — is the anthology he edited, “Confucius to Cummings,” which includes such deathless gems as “The Sum of Life” by Ben King [NOT the singer of "Stand By Me," but a 19th century white guy], with its charming lines . . .

    Nothing to do but work,
    Nothing to eat but food,
    Nothing to wear but clothes,
    To keep one from going nude.

    . . . Talking about the body!

    It’s funny that you mention “maintaining/policing the boundaries between cultural locations, discourses, and fields of production,” since that’s precisely what was at issue with the Segue scandal.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    On my note above, regarding the great, ecumenical Jacket coming under the editorial control of the PennSound Board, starting in 2011, a friend wrote me today and said,

    “There ought to be a Sherman Antitrust Act applicable to poetry cartels.”

    Had to share that…

    • On February 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm Matt wrote:

      seriously?

      here we go again. and what exactly is wrong with pennsound (he asked, against his better judgment)?

      honestly, of all things to shit-talk, you’re picking a site that’s basically one of the best, vastest (most vast?) and valuable troves of poetry audio on the internet?

      i’m anxious to see how you manage to spin that into a bad thing. this should be entertaining.

  • On February 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm Joshua wrote:

    Pennsound is great. I’ve spent hours listening to what they’ve got there, if not days. Months?

  • On February 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    This fine, fine post by James Stotts, from above, bears re-posting here, & careful consideration in light of this dust-up :

    “from ‘the task of the translator’ (tr., from the german, by h. zohn):

    [benjamin has just posited that languages are interrelated in their purposeful manifestations (i.e., core human expression)]–
    ‘with this attempt at an explication our study appears to rejoin, after futile detours, the trad. theory of translation. if the kinship of languages is to be demonstrated by translations, how else can this be done but by conveying the form and meaning of the original as accurately as possible.’
    and we can actually look at his translations to see that the process he is concerning himself with is what we would normally recognize as translation, and assume then that the utter strangeness of language and its manipulations as he discusses them are taking place in such a kind of translation. that is, benjamin is finding out for us strangeness, not manufacturing it.

    translating, of course, is not ‘for’ the reader, as benjamin emphatically agrees. it seems to me that since the whole deal is: where do we waste our energies as translators? the answer, it seems to me, is not ‘on theory,’ but ‘on reading.’
    reading is the thing we can never do well enough, and i’ll just say in terms of psychology there is a very powerful kind of automatic translation that starts when you become a good reader of an ‘other’ text. it begs to be understood in native terms. a reading of a poem not only changes from time to time, but it has a force which actively transforms it into self-defined meaning.”

  • On February 6, 2010 at 12:14 am john wrote:

    If people don’t need Ezra Pound bully for them.

    Once you start drawing lines in the sand it’s hard to know where/when to stop. Pound loved Browning, who loved Shelley, who loved Milton, who loved Spenser, who loved Chaucer, who loved Petrarch . . . If you need Pound to write now, don’t you need Browning to properly read Pound, and so on?

    People don’t need to master the Canon before writing.

    Besides, the Canon misses all sorts of knowledge, and writing, and ways of knowing. I happen to wish that Frances Densmore (since we’re talking about translation) were among the famous names of American poetry (and music). Here’s one of her translations that bears on a lot of this discussion (I haven’t read the music):
    http://ufdcweb1.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?m=hd236J&i=161013

  • On February 6, 2010 at 3:41 am james stotts wrote:

    this isn’t about them having not mastered the canon at all, but about them dismissing the canon a priori–that’s the deplorable thing, and the red flag that we shouldn’t take them seriously.

  • On February 6, 2010 at 4:24 am john wrote:

    Thom said that he read Pound in college and doesn’t feel the need to study him any more. Matt said he wants to read him eventually. Neither of those constitute dismissing a priori.

    I don’t have a problem with people having no interest in the canon. Maybe it’s because I’m a musician, and tons of good musicians I’ve met don’t know squat about their own musical traditions; for instance, a touring punk rock musician who had never heard of Patti Smith. Why get all sniffy and say that, because Louis Armstrong influenced Louis Jordan, who influenced Chuck Berry, you really have to listen to the Hot 5 recordings before calling yourself an American musician?

    (I would recommend the Hot 5 recordings to ANYBODY, btw.)

    But I guess it’s not unusual to dismiss people who approach their artform in a way that differs vastly from yours.

    By the way, “a political philosophy must be a philosophy of happiness if it is not to be a monstrosity” (quoted above) is from Oppen’s Daybooks.

    • On February 7, 2010 at 1:02 am Matt wrote:

      “Why get all sniffy and say that, because Louis Armstrong influenced Louis Jordan, who influenced Chuck Berry, you really have to listen to the Hot 5 recordings before calling yourself an American musician?”

      excellent, thank you john :)

  • On February 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm john wrote:

    I wrote my last thang (I live on the west coast) in answer to something someone else said, accusing Thom and Matt of dismissing the canon a priori. The thang that I was speaking to disappeared after I posted my thang, so I am seen here talking about something that might not make sense.

    Confusing, I know.

  • On February 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm Michael Cross wrote:

    There are only approx. ten copies left of David Larsen’s translation. If you want one, go here: http://www.atticusfinch.org. When they’re gone, they’re gone for good…

    Michael

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Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 by Thom Donovan.