Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

A book by an American scholar of Japanese literature briefly discusses one of the anecdotes of The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko, a classic which dates back to the fourteenth century. The scholar, Linda Chance, offers the following translation: A priest of the Ninnaji, regretting that he had not paid his respects at Iwashimizu [a Shinto shrine […]

ZiR
eiffel tower flashing at night, blue with white lights

Le monde s’étire s’allonge et se retire comme un accordéon qu’une main sadique tourmente The earth stretches elongated and snaps back like an accordion tortured by a sadic hand Dans les déchirures du ciel, les locomotives en furie In the rips in the sky insane locomotives S’enfuient Take flight Et dans les trous, In the […]

ZiR
Drink's, sign in Troncones, Mexico; photo credit: Jonah Warner, February 2016

Backfiring, shall we call this?   First bursts. Sue Ellen Christian, one of Zeteo’s long-time contributors, e-mailed us a draft response to one of the random, crazed shootings with which the United States is now plagued. As has been reported, several residents of her town, Kalamazoo, Michigan, were allegedly gunned down by an Uber driver. Random […]

ZiR
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Biblical Uncertainties   I came to Aviya Kushner’s The Grammar of God well prepared, having, a month before the book was published, heard her talk about her arduous ten-year writing process. When I first learned of her topic, Biblical translation, I expected a discussion of the typical complexities of rendering a work in a language […]

ZiR

“Counting” is a beautiful little Philip Larkin poem that I had not read before encountering it in a bilingual collection, with French translations: La vie avec un trou dedans. Thinking in terms of one Is easily done — One room, one bed, one chair, One person there, Makes perfect sense; one set Of wishes can […]

ZiR

In the woods of Michigan in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville recounts, he found a not entirely unfamiliar solitude, but what was unusual was that, unlike previously, when he had visited the ruins of ancient European civilizations, the solitudes of America led his mind to project forward, losing itself “dans un immense avenir” (in a vast […]

ZiR
Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 1 Comment

A very loose translation of a once better known Boris Vian lyric   One nice morning in July, the alarm At dawn it breaks the calm “My doll,” I said, “better shake a leg” Today’s the today, not to be missed Get to the boulevard without delay To see parading the Zanzibar King But suddenly […]

ZiR

{click for pdf}   An e-mail discussion with the philosopher and Zeteo contributor Ed Mooney has led me back to two paragraphs in Sartre’s L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness). One of the oft-quoted (in English) lines from these paragraphs is “my acts cause values to spring up like partridges,” and I harbor hopes of […]

ZiR
Categories: Review | 4 Comments
Arabian Red Fox, photograph by Jem Babbington, appears on Birds of Saudi Arabia website

By William Eaton   A discussion of four Emily Dickinson poems in the context of Françoise Delphy’s French translations appearing in Poésies complètes : Edition bilingue français-anglais by Emily Dickinson and Françoise Delphy (Flammarion, 2009).   I.  The Articulate Inarticulate An early reader of Emily Dickinson’s poems used this phrase—“the articulate inarticulate”—to describe her, and […]

Review
Categories: ZiR | 2 Comments

My hobby this summer has turned out to be translating lines from Baudelaire.

ZiR

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

My hobby this summer has turned out to be translating lines from Baudelaire.

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 2 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

My hobby this summer has turned out to be translating lines from Baudelaire.

ZiR

July 16, 2018

A very nice piece, William. I am reminded of a Sung Dynasty poem that D.T. Suzuki quotes in one of his books. I'm not sure of its relevance here, but it seems to resonate somehow. Misty rain on Mount Lu, And waves surging at Che Kiang. When you have not been there, Many a regret you have; But once there and homeward you wend, How matter-of-fact things look! Misty rain on Mount Lu And waves surging at Che Kiang.

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Categories: Essay | 2 Comments
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

My hobby this summer has turned out to be translating lines from Baudelaire.

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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