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Design shamelessly lifted from Monologue
Since it seems I'm done with IB (all my bones and brain-cells are still intact, thank you), there is little for me to do here. I am no more an IBer than a new born baby is and have consequently lost all rights to post here. If anyone wishes to take over the running and administration of this blog, I will willingly pass it on. This will be my last post here.
Any future blogging by me will take place on the main page. Stay tuned for hot-off-the-press news and weekly gossip from Waterloo, Ontario beginning first week of September.
Till then, adieu all and thanks for reading!
Some random questions I try to answer every once in a while.
18. Pevear argues that the works in 17 above are not ?definitive translations? but ?works in themselves.? Discuss.
Pevear's argument that the works which have endured all these years are not simply translations, but are works in themselves, is justified. Translating a piece of text exactly while maintaining the original work at the same time is a work, or an art rather, in itself. Any translator who can achieve such a high degree of perfection in a translation may be regarded as a writer himself. His work is therefore a work in itself, although the fact still remains that his work is based on the work of an other individual. Any talented translator will know about the numerous obstacles and problematic situations that come across during the translation process. For example, while trying to convey metaphors, similes, idioms, etc., it often becomes quite an arduous task for the translator to maintain the same sense as that intended by the original author. Each language has its own set of rules and own set of literary and stylistic devices. This varied difference between any two given languages is the root cause of all problems encountered by translators. If in spite of all these predicaments the translator manages to convey exactly what the original author had meant in an entirely distinct language or dialect, he has definitely achieved something significant worthy of notice, and his work is indeed to be appreciated. Pevear's argument hence, without question, holds true that long-enduring translations are not merely "definitive translations,? but are undeniably "works in themselves."
19. What does utopian mean? How are translations (and all human efforts to communicate) utopian?
One would probably be faced with a considerably demanding task at hand if he tried to define 'utopia' in a single sentence. To put it into a nutshell, 'utopia' can be thought as the factor that governs why we do the things we do, and why we choose do it in that particular fashion. Perhaps a brief description of a Utopian order would be one in which everything and everyone is in perfect balance and harmony with one another. A 'utopian' deed would be one that is best in terms of the community at that given point in time. Utopianism may be characterized by perfect-doing and by error-free work. A utopianist—strictly in a communicative sense—would be one who puts effort into speaking perfectly, or in other words, one who aspires to convey exactly what he thinks without flaw. Translators who strive to be utopianists in their work would ideally aim to deliver a xerox-copy of the original writer's idea and thought. Utopian translators would try to retain as much from the original work, rather than brewing minute modifications here and there, just to make their translation seem "nice.? Consequently, such a "utopian" translation could potentially be called a "perfect'" translation, or one which is ideal and best suited to the prevailing time and and its associated culture. This kind of "utopian" translation is perhaps what all translators vie to reproduce in their works.
Some are successful. Others never quite get there.
Today, this wonderful piece of spam landed in my inbox. I though it was quite creative and sounded almost like the prologue to a mystery novel.
"As you travel down a cool breezy corridor, you hear the hollow echo of your own steps. Gems of all sizes and colors sparkle and twinkle from the torchlight that adorns the walls of the hall. You notice the hall slowly descending deeper and lower into the cave...you must be going very deep near the heart of this mountain. You arrive in 5/25/2005 6:45:20 AM room that has towering bookshelves..most likely because this is the cave and library of a dragon."
Cumulative Progress on IB Exams
Gosh! That was fifteen sittings altogether. Can't imagine how rapidly the month's sped.
I hadn't cared to clear my inbox since the 6th day of April (studying for some exams you know) and I was literally swamped by all the Dictionary.com Word a Day emails. Here's a jist of all the new words I someday imagine to add to my lexicon.
obloquy: ill repute.
extant: still existing.
arbitrage: the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset in order to profit from price discrepancies.
panegyric: an expression of formal or elaborate praise.
masticate: to chew.
fettle: a state or condition of fitness, order, or mind.
cavalcade: a procession.
enervate: to weaken.
atavism: reversion to a remote ancestral type or to an earlier form.
rara avis: a rare or unique person or thing.
euphonious: pleasing or sweet in sound.
scintilla: a tiny amount; a spark.
matutinal: relating to or occurring in the morning.
extol: to praise.
palindrome: a word, verse, phrase, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward.
supplicate: to make a humble and earnest petition.
labile: open to change; apt or likely to change.
traduce: to vilify.
claque: a group of fawning admirers.
On Chamberlain's Policy of Appeasement — March 1939
Why do you think Chamberlain's critics suggested that the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 was the direct result of his policy of appeasement?
Having gained control of the Sudetenland, the German army went on to invade the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. Had British prime minister Neville Chamberlain refrained from ceding the Sudetenland to the Germans, hoping to appease Hitler in his attempts to maintain peace in Europe, Czechoslovakia might have been able to safeguard her national integrity. According to one public account, it was found that the Czechs were forced to "yield up large proportions of [their] carefully prepared defences" and were required to "admit the German armies deep into the country." These two factors alone, which were forthright consequences of Chamberlain's policy of appeasement and the resulting agreement at Munich, enabled an easy and victorious German invasion.
How does Chamberlain defend the policy of appeasement in his speech?
In the same public document, Chamberlain argues that his policy of appeasement was necessary to realize the most immediate goal at the time: the peace of Europe. He also questions other alternatives to his political decision of ceding the Sudetenland, and since there were none, his visits to Germany the year previous were the sole way out to prevent a forceful invasion of Czechoslovakia and other neighbouring countries.
How convincing do you find Chamberlain's defence?
Chamberlain's defence tentatively appeals to the historian's reason, as his primary goal of his policy of appeasement and the resulting Munich Agreement was to maintain peace and serenity in Europe. In this respect, Chamberlain's reasoning cannot be misconstrued. Chamberlain, along with many others, did not expect Hitler to bypass the agreement and proceed to occupy the whole of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain's asking "for what was the alternative" is reasonable, for there was none.
On the contrary, Chamberlain, as prime minister of "Europe's best manhood" should have known the better bit of Hitler and should have realized Hitler's genuine goals: a full-fledged conquest of Europe. Furthermore, the detrimental effects that were to impact Europe were a result of Chamberlain's own serious under-estimation of Hitler's potency. Thus Chamberlain's policy of "curing-the-present", his aim to put an end to just the immediate tensions, his lack of consideration of the long-term effects, and his distorted forethought only served to exacerbate the problem and therefore necessitates him to accept the blame for the fate of Czechoslovakia.
A commentary on "Twice Shy" by Seamus Heaney
Every poem is equipped with a title. Some are useful and provide the reader with an indication as to what he is to expect, while others are enigmatic and confusing even after many hours of creative pondering. Lastly, there are titles that make sense only after a thorough read through the poem. "Twice Shy" by Seamus Heaney is one such gem. The phrase "twice shy" seems to have been taken from the age-old proverb Once bitten, twice shy, and we are consequently led to expect that the characters in the poem have had a bitter experience in the past and are now attempting to recoup. The phrase is such an appropriate expression to describe the tumultuous feelings, emotions and attitudes that run through the mind of an adolescent in love.
The central idea behind the poem is simple: a girl and a boy, presumably adolescents, go out for a walk on a cool, spring evening. However, their good upbringing forces them to move cautiously, to "preserve classic decorum" and to abstain from publishing feeling. Heaney masterfully intertwines the poetic elements of time and setting to provide an accurate description of the characters' thoughts. He deliberately picks spring, la saison de l'amour, to emphasize the thrilling experience that the two kids undergo. The twilight dusk of March comes out as a "vacuum of need" and at the same time also mocks the vacillating flux of emotions that occur in the hearts of the two lovers.
Throughout the poem, we are led to see a confluence of sentiment through the characters' bodies and minds; this is specifically referred to in line 7: "traffic holding its breath." The flimsiness of the sky is denoted by labelling it a "tense diaphragm". Even a tiny mistake on the part of one of the lovers can shatter the excitement of the moment and, figuratively speaking, send the sky falling down. The "blackcloth" (9) in the background adds colour to the foreground and to the people in it. All of a sudden, the edges of the characters' personalities have been detected. In short, the atmosphere throughout the poem is "tremulous as a hawk," deadly and nervous, and yet succeeds in maintaining a terse sense of calmness and serenity.
Heaney's diction, that is, his choice of words, is hair-splitting. Every word in the poem has been deliberately chosen to be like a pebble dropped into a pond. The ripples these words create interfere with those created by adjacent words — the net effect is a superbly woven harmonical verse that provides a flash of felicity to even the inexperienced reader.
Heaney tackles certain elements, notably the feminity of the girl, with remarkable ease. The girl in the poem, ostensibly trying to recoup her losses, wants to "come one evening for air and friendly talk." The mitigation evident here erupts a momentary pleasure within the reader's mind. Furthermore, Heaney employs an unmistakable rhyme scheme in the poem. Why does he do this? Presumably to re-emphasize the rhythmic cadence of the speaker's as well as the characters' feelings and emotions that continually oscillate high and low like the tide.
Heaney's use of imagery in the poem is hard to miss. Birds, namely the swan and the hawk, are used quite effectively to convey ideas and feelings. There is no better choice to personify swiftness and cadence than a swan. A second after a swan has swum, the image of ripples quickly moving radially outward is a perfect one to paint the empty canvas that is the mind of a teenager in love. The hawk, of course, personifies the tremulous atmosphere, the fear, the anxiety and the nervousness of the moment. Heaney takes a step further to say that although the boy and the girl are physically nearby, their hearts and minds are being forced to maintain a discomforting distance. The two are as desperate to get together as is a hawk to get to its prey.
Although the air is rampant with simultaneous chariness and excitement, what ensues is simply "nervous childish talk" (28) and nothing more. Heaney captures patience and a fear for regret beautifully in stanza 4. The kids blame "juvenilia" for their supposed courage and will-power to keep them from taking a step forward. So although the walk on the bank is filled with nothing but friendly and childish talk, we are led to believe that the it has, for them, been a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Heaney's second image of "still waters running deep" (29) portrays the ambivalence of the moment, the mixture of contentment, anxiety, satisfaction and impatience — all in one fell sweep.
As a final delivery, the near repetition of lines 6 and 30 cannot be irresponsibly rejected as an accident. The implied understatement that the whole rendez-vous is only an "embankment walk" cleverly depicts the exchange of ideas and feelings throughout this whole strife. It could even possibly question the level of intimacy between the characters. Emotions move speedily, so speedily there's a traffic jam. The assimilation of fear and uncertainly and finally, the vacancy that ensues at the end of the poem — all definitely make "Twice Shy" a pleasurable read.