Critique of John Pinkerton’s Modern geography (1807) in The Edinburgh Review: Or Critical Journal:
The original is, ‘Hay en esta cuidad unas beatas que ganan su vida ensenando [sic] a hablar a los loros,’ — i.e. by teaching parrots to speak. Mr Pinkerton has probably seen hablar in the title-page of some spelling book, and supposed that it meant grammar.
I don’t think anyone has suggested recently that parrots are able to acquire grammar in any sense. Were the True Cross beguines the only ones to earn a living training birds to talk clean?
- John Florio and Charles Cotton’s translations of Montaigne
Wading through a Francophone African legal swamp, where jurisprudence grows out of the barrel of a gun, one is reminded of early translators’ struggles with Montaigne:
- John Florio (beware of noisome loons who think he’s Shakespeare), 1603: In summe, if any thinke he could do better, let him trie; then will he better thinke of
- The 1660 Foire de Saint-Germain
Featuring castanets, monkeys, marionettes, and human and tortoise castles.
- Reagrupament and mesophrase, the subcategory of translation that Dryden forgot
Candide of CataloniaWatch appears to have come to the conclusion that watching Catalonia is rather like watching paint dry, but without the happy ending. However, before retiring to cultivate its (keep reading) garden it sent me excerpts from a Catalan constitution proposed by Reagrupament which it found in a bar following the Hapsburg Pretender Day celebrations …
- The Devil’s Corbyn of Hell
A General Election post, featuring Edgar Allan Poe, a manual for medieval female anchorites, the RSPB, Le Corbusier, Magpie Corvid, a corvine conspiracy, and Tolkien’s Nazgûl.