I don’t usually post random collections of links, but they’re piling up and I’m afraid of losing them, so here you go:
Project Professor Professor “is a prodigious international effort to identify and list all active research professors whose first and last names are identical. The first two professors celebrated by Project Professor-Professor are Abraham Abraham and Warren Warren… If you know of other professors who should be part of this listing, please send pertinent info (including a URL, if possible) to: PROJECT PROFESSOR-PROFESSOR c/o firstname.lastname@example.org .”
Continuing on the name front, here is a list of Russian-Israeli names (thanks, Tatyana!). If you know Russian, I guarantee much laughter. (How would you like to be named Mikhail Klurglur?)
This post prompted a reader (thanks, Pat!) to send me a link to George Szirtes’ TS Eliot Lecture “Thin Ice and The Midnight Skaters,” a long discussion of many things connected with poetry and language. A snippet:
When our own family of four arrived in England as refugees in the December of 1956 only my father spoke any English, and he spoke it reasonably enough to act as interpreter to groups of other refugees. After a few days stop at an army camp we moved to Westgate on the Kent coast and found signifieds for which we had signifiers but of which we had no direct experience. There was the sea for a start. None of us had seen one of those, though we did have the word tenger, that meant ‘sea’. Tenger was a word from tales and fabulous stories, from other people’s talk, from films: it had a set of meanings that we had not experienced at first hand. The transfer of our old vocabulary to a new set of experiences naturally took time: so English tea meant not quite tea, so English bread meant not quite kenyér. For what we received as tea and bread was not what we had been used to. George Steiner talks about this in After Babel, about how even transactional language is inadequate to experience: brot and pain are not innocent blank counters. It is not just that you will get different kinds of bread in Germany and France but that these breads come with a complex baggage of history, culture and association.
And continuing with language and translation, a LibraryThing review by Ramage of Adair’s Georges Perec translation A Void sent me to Ian Monk’s “The Restrictive Muse. (Writings for the Oulipo)”, which has (among other amazing things) a stern e-less review of Adair’s e-less translation of Perec’s e-less novel. And while I’m on the subject of Ramage, the latest post features the Chesme Church (aka Church of Saint John at Chesme Palace), architect Yuri Felten (George Velten), and says “I cannot believe it has never figured in a work of literature. An exhaustive ten-minute search in Google has, however, failed to turn up any citations.” I couldn’t find any searching in Russian, either; of course, the church is well south of the central city, but still, you’d think such a striking building would get mentioned somewhere. If my Russian-speaking readers know of any literary mentions, please leave a comment!