mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Jo Walton has a lovely explanation of why time goes elastic in Patrick O'Brian. For the uninitiated, there's not enough Napoleonic War for all the Aubrey action, so that several voyages of many months if not years all happen between 1813 and 1815. Her reasoning-- Stephen's almost mute assistant Padeen, who can speak well enough if it's Gaelic and who does canonically manage well with children and animals, is fae, and time works differently where he is. Does not explain why Jack's family back in England doesn't grow older, though.

Otherwise a grey rainy December Sunday, and I reading a translation of Soseki's short pieces, which has put me in a nostalgic mood. Rainy grey is what it did a lot of the first December in Tokyo, and Soseki was the first novelist I read in my intensive Japan period, back in the fall and winter of 1985. That doubtless explains why I always think of Meiji as cold and grey and invigorating; it's amazing how much the weather of Toronto influences my notions of an era.

The translation as ever is one of those 'but *I* could do better than that' ones, even if I couldn't. Still I see no reason to translate the word for the small drum that accompanies Noh performances as 'tambourine' even if that's what it looks like. Especially not when the player first has to tighten the cords on it. (I'm assuming the Japanese is shime-daiko; a shoulder drum would surely be called a drum?)
Tags: japan, o'brian, reading_10, rl_10, soseki, translation

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