mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Have been active today. Hurt. Maybe by Friday the mug will be gone.

Finished?

Lattimore, Selected Greek Lyrics
-- another slim volume of verse. From my youth, and a keeper

Bailey, The Red Queen Dies
-- apart from me not being in the mood for a police procedural, this was an oddly cozy Brit murder police procedural. As in, contrived. As in, detective considers a buncha utterly extraneous threads tying the victims together. Alice in Wonderland! And the Wizard of Oz! Because both involve young girls! even though the first victims were young women. And the actual connection was something else entirely. A disappointment.

Reading now?

Van Gulik, Judge Dee at Work
-- reliably satisfying

Cartmel, Written in Dead Wax
-- the first Vinyl Detective. A find.

Ogawa, Lost and found fairytales
-- Ogawa being weird as ever. Luckily this is short because I'd rather read Murakami. But it's from the library- a hold that showed up unexpectedly- so must be finished first.

Dalby, Kouta
-- this week's slim volume of verse. Shamisen songs of the geisha. Uninspired translation. Has calligraphy from a famous calligrapher which I look at to try to discover what makes calligraphy great. Not readability, for sure.

Am of two minds whether to read Jean de Florette or Arsène Lupin for my French. The latter has more unknown, more important, vocabulary than the former. The former is better for mindless looking at the words and getting just enough of the gist to get by.

Up next?

Probably more Vinyl Detective. But that's tablet reading. Maybe something fictional from the shelves so I can keep on emptying them.

Abandoned?

Shiffert and Sawa, Anthology of Modern Japanese Poetry
-- infuriating. An anthology would be wonderful, but: Japanese has these impersonal verbs of hearing and seeing that naturally equate to passives in English. 'Is heard' 'is seen' even if the sense is also close to 'can be heard/ seen'. Passives in English suck. And the translators render every kikoeru and mieru as a passive, as well as every true passive construction, and the clunk is terrible.

In fact, the clunk is terrible, period:

The Discarded Horse

What on earth is it, going from where to where,
that is passing around through here I wonder?
The same as a wounded god,
a single abandoned military horse,
Shining more than death,
alone more than liberty,
and at the same time like peacefulness without a helper,
is the field of snow where he temporarily wanders about
with hardly his own lean shadow to feed on.
Presently one cry is neighed-out toward the distance
and collapsing from the knees he has tumbled down,
The Asian snow, the heavenly evening!

Line breaks and capitalization just as in the text.
Tags: japanese, reading_20, verse
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