HELP JEREMY TRANSLATE NOVALIS.

Jeremy Osner of READIN is trying to translate Novalis’ “Hymns to the Night” (see here, here, here, and here) and says “I’m trying to put together a new translation of “Hymns to the Night”, an updated version of MacDonald’s translation, which is more than a hundred years old now and sounds a little stilted to me. I set up an engine for a collaborative translation effort (since I am myself neither a fluent speaker of German nor a student of Romantic literature) here — if you or any of your readers want to make suggestions I would love to hear them.” So if that sounds like fun, head on over and help out.
Something completely different: this blog is devoted to the French equivalent of “asshole,” the sale con; this post invites comments on how to say it in Québec (the suggested equivalent is chien sale).

Comments

  1. I have to confess, I think the Philosophical Fragments far superior to both the Hymns and Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Though it does already have a modern translation. But why doesn’t someone do The Disciples at Sais, which has no English translation at all?

  2. Collaborative translation enterprises can only provoke quarelling between those who believe that poetry is translatable, and those who feel that translations should serve only as cribs so that the reader can more easily approach the original.

  3. Thanks LH, I’m getting some useful comments and no dross as yet. Conrad: I have read nothing of Novalis — I am as I wrote to LH not a student of Romantic literature — I was just really struck by this work when I read it over at Logopoeia and wanted it to sound less archaic. Christopher: it seems to me like it’s necessary (for me) to translate poetry — translating is what I am doing when I read the German, since my German is nothing like fluent — doing it on paper formalizes it and gives me the opportunity to correct mistakes (like my translation of “unselig” as “mundane”, which LH pointed out does not work.) So I guess I am using the translation process as a “crib” to more easily approach the original — but I don’t see what’s wrong with that?

  4. “Die Lehrlinge zu Sais” is now available in English as “The Novices of Sais”
    http://www.amazon.com/Novalis-Novices-Sais-Paul-Klee/dp/0974968056

  5. Ooh, and translated by Ralph Manheim! That should be good.

  6. Hey, good call. Thanks!

  7. marie-lucie says:

    chien sale?? I am probably behing the times, but to me this means a dog which is physically dirty – perhaps after running in the mud. Like several other adjectives, sale coming after a noun has literal, concrete meaning, but before a noun, conventional or figurative meaning. You could use just about any noun prefaced with sale>/i> and make it into an insult. Perhaps the person who suggested chien sale was unknowingly using a literal translation of English dirty dog.

  8. It was specifically québécois usage that was being discussed; how familiar are you with it?

  9. David Marjanović says:

    You could use just about any noun prefaced with sale and make it into an insult.

    I love how you can take any noun, put “espèce de” in front of it, and have an insult! :^)

  10. PlasticPaddy says:

    https://www.dufrancaisaufrancais.com/articles/mot-chien-langue-quebecoise/
    Apart from many examples for chien sale in québecois, there are some other weird and wonderful “dog” idiomatic expressions, including avoir la chienne de and fucker le chien (I thought this must be a joke, but I suppose English could use “buggering about / around” in a similar context).
    BTW the links for the Novalis collaboration are broken, he tried to revive the project in 2011 and gives other broken links…

  11. fucker le chien (I thought this must be a joke, but I suppose English could use “buggering about / around” in a similar context).

    That’s a straight Quebecification of the wonderful phrase “fuck the dog” (also semi-bowdlerized as “screw the pooch“).

    Ordinarily I would substitute archived links for the dead ones, but since he’s presumably no longer working on it, I don’t see the point.

  12. David Eddyshaw says:

    I love how you can take any noun, put “espèce de” in front of it, and have an insult!

    This reminds me of my children’s claim that any English noun can add -ed to make a word meaning “helplessly drunk.”

    “I got completely nouned that night.”
    “He was obviously hatted out of his mind.”
    “We were utterly otoscoped by that stage.”

  13. This reminds me of my children’s claim that any English noun can add -ed to make a word meaning “helplessly drunk.”

    Hm, really?

    He got potted last night. (OK, yes, that works)
    They were plated at the party. (that too)
    He got cupped on Friday night. (um…)
    She had a few shots and was spooned. (wait a minute…)
    He had some extra cash and got forked. (this is getting iffier and iffier–)
    Everyone but the designated driver was knifed at the bar. (AAAAAAH!)

    I think your thesis needs fixed.

    (It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
    What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
    You ask a glass of water.)

  14. David Eddyshaw says:

    You’re just not down with the kids, Owlmirror.

  15. I got completely owlmirrored last night.

  16. ಠ_ಠ

  17. Actually . . .

    Even I must admit that “owled” kinda works for “drunk”. But “mirrored”… Well, to get properly mirrored, you need an N-axial inversion unit. Although if it’s not on the right setting, the rest of your life will be brief, and far more unpleasant than being drunk.

    “Fred Cassidy was mirrored by the N-axial inversion unit, and then he got owled while reflecting on the new tastes of spirits.”

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