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Simic uses “vicious pain” as a euphemism for death. It feels like an understatement, but still manages to express the physical, human nature of death.

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Although techno experienced a lull in popularity in the early 2000s, Eminem’s inaccurate diss of Moby has since been proven to be unwise.

Cut to the 201os, and “real” techno is once again extremely popular, but perhaps more importantly, it’s made the crossover into the mainstream, with artists like Deadmau5 enjoying considerable success, and the techno-influenced house of Daft Punk basically taking over the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9MszVE7aR4

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Frankie Knuckles (né Francis Nicholls) moved from his native New York City to Chicago in the late 1970s, DJing at the Warehouse club until 1982, when he started his own club: The Power Plant.

His DJ sets, and releases such as “Your Love”, established him as a fundamental part of the nascent but burgeoning techno scene in Chicago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ

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o mente che scrivesti ciò ch'io vidi,

This line encapsulates one of the fundamental conceits medieval literature, that of memory as a book. Dante’s own Vita nuova uses this concept extensively.

“Memory” is probably the best choice to translate Dante’s word mente, though it’s by no means perfect. It’s closely related to Virgil’s Latin word memora at the beginning of the Aeneid, but also shares a more distant relation with the English word “mind”— we might say, for example, “Mind out!”, or “Mind your manners!”. Dante’s word is not as explicitly past-tense as the English “memory”.

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Longfellow wisely and intuitively uses the English word “genius” to translate Dante’s ingegno— the two words are cognate, and just as Dante frequently uses ingegno to refer to a kind of natural, inherent intelligence, we use “genius” to refer to someone who is, above all, profoundly naturally gifted. Other translators have used the word “wit”, which might sound more natural, having an Anglo-Saxon origin, but it doesn’t convey the unquantifiable power of “genius”.

Medieval artists would frequently associate the muses with this kind of natural intelligence.

In 2014, with the introduction of the Genius app, people can easily share their natural genius with others, making this muse-level intelligence accessible to all.

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O muse, o alto ingegno, or m'aiutate;
O mente che scrivesti ciò ch'io vidi,
qui si parrà la tua nobilitate.

Dante invokes the muses comparatively late, at the the beginning of Canto 2, so if we’re to be sticklers about the epic structure, this turns the whole of Canto 1 into the announcement of the subject, or propositio.

(The Ancient Greek muses)

The order of things in the Aeneid, which Dante was intimately familiar with and was responding to, at least on some level, was the propositio in lines 1-7, followed by the invocation of the muses at line 8:

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,

Muse, tell me the reasons, what injured deity…

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Lo giomo se n'andava, e l'aere bruno
Toglieva. li animai che sono in terra
da le fatiche loro; e io sol uno

The beginning of Canto 2 is inspired by a couple of passages from Virgil’s Aeneid which deal with the natural environment being placid whilst the subject of the poem panics, specifically 8.26-27:

Nox erat et terns animalia fessa per omnis
alituum pecudumque genus sopor altus habebat,
cum pater…

Nighttime, and all across the lands the tired earthly creatures,
the ones with wings and the flocks, were taken by a deep sleep,
while the father…

And 9.224-225:

Cetera per terras omnis animalia somno
laxabant curas et corda oblita laborum

Throughout all the sleeping lands, other creatures
disregarded their worries and their hearts, forgetting their labors

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7L2PVdrb_8

The opening sequence and title music to Game of Thrones have become near-legendary, spawning various memes of their own, e.g.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N02amlMkVJw

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Ballintoy Habour in County Antrim is used as a location for the Iron Islands.

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Dubrovnik in Serbia is used for King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros.

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"YOU determine the story! YOU choose your own Destiny!" (Austin Grossman – You) | pending

Always kept my finger on the decision page…

"I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep." (Mr. Z – 1st Period: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”) | pending

Did the author literally sleep in these places, or did someone else, whom author feels a connection to?

"I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it" (Mr. Z – 1st Period: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”) | pending

Good suggestions— the speaker’s tone definitely changes after “My soul has grown deep like the rivers”. What do the different places Hughes mentions have in common?

"My soul has grown deep like the rivers." (Mr. Z – 1st Period: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”) | pending

Some very interesting explanations of Hughes’s closing line. Why does he choose to repeat the fourth line as the final one? How does this affect the structure of the poem— does it help to make the line more memorable?

"I've known rivers: / Ancient, dusky rivers." (Mr. Z – 1st Period: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”) | pending

Both are good explanations. Why do you think Hughes used these paricular words? How is an “ancient” river different from an “old” one?

"My soul has grown deep like the rivers." (Mr. Z – 1st Period: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”) | pending

Nice explanation of the simile. Could we elaborate on the way his soul flows? How else does it resemble a river?

"Rachel née Rabinovitch" (T.S. Eliot – Sweeney Among the Nightingales) | pending

That’s definitely a possibility— though I’d imagine the more likely scenario is that she changed her name after marriage. It does read badly, though, in light of Eliot’s other remarks on Judaism. It’s a point that I’d missed from the the annotation, though, so I’ll rewrite it. Thanks for the suggestion!

This is so sick. No sooner have the fragments been discovered than they’re up and translated. Amazing work