Beginner’s misfortune

Look, today has been a Tuesday you couldn’t fix no matter what, and on Thursday I said I would make it a good one. I do this a lot. I plan things out in my mind and I will them to live up to expectations. Today was different, though, today I know where I went wrong and why Tuesday crumbled.

It started, I suppose, with the real mistake being the fact I spent the weekend packing for our journey, when I should have been reading Emilia Galotti, act 3, past its second scene.  Continue reading

Happy birthday, Mr Samsa

It’s a century since Die Verwandlung , Kafka’s most famous novella detailing human angst and the pain that comes from impotence, narrated by a man turned into vermin, was published. I hear about Kafka constantly even having only read one of his works in this academic year – for he is in Oxford, in the research institute containing the first page of this work,  that famous “Als Gregor Samsa sich eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte…” that we are not allowed to visit unless specialised in the life of this peculiar, fascinating man,  Continue reading

The philosophy of translation – Tim Crane

An extremely interesting article about Barbara Cassin’s Dictionary of Untranslatables – A philosophical lexicon. 
Times Literary Supplement, 28 January 2015
“This extraordinary book, a huge dictionary of philosophical terms from many languages, is a translation of Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles, originally published in 2004, the brainchild of the French philosopher Barbara Cassin. If the original project was paradoxical, then the present version is doubly so: not just a dictionary of untranslatable words, but a translation of that dictionary.  Rather than despair at the self-undermining self-referentiality of the whole idea, the editors rejoice in it. Indeed, moving the word “untranslatable” to the beginning of the English title proudly asserts the paradox even more forcefully than the original French title does, and forms what the English-language editor Emily Apter calls “an organising principle of the entire project”.

Continue reading

Scrap paper and long ago attempts

Today, whilst packing up my room, a few Mr Sheen wipes and spraying shelves after I’d had lunch, I discovered a crumpled up copy of a submission I made a year ago to ISIS magazine, and had completely forgotten about. Given the ever-recurring theme of travel, roots, life changes, I thought I’d just leave it here. I’m still quite impressed at how long it sat on my shelves without ever making it to become scrap paper.

BA  XXXX, Pisa, 2013
Continue reading