Rose Punts??

Not sure how I could have missed this after five or ten re-reads, but the ERC nerds spotted what seems to be a blatant punt in Rose’s translation of Orlando Furioso (XIII.7).

When him I after in the field espied,
Performing wondrous feats of chivalry,
I was surprised by Love, ere I descried
That freedom in my Love, so rash a guide,
I lay this unction to my phantasy,
That no unseemly place my heart possest,
Fixed on the worthiest in the world and best.

But Mr. Alspaugh, Mr. Alspaugh!  I thought Orlando Furioso was composed in ottava rima!  Doesn’t ottava mean eight?

Erk.  Yes.  Rose has omitted line four, the second b rhyme.  Good heavens, man, why?  To the textual criticism we go!

What follows is an epic misadventure leading to greater knowledge.   Continue reading Rose Punts??

ERC: Rhyming Furioso

A mortifying experience at the most recent gathering of the Epic Recitation Club.  Caveat lector: the punch line may be a bit more crude than some audiences would find appealing.

Normally when we are reciting Orlando Furioso, I am absorbed in the story and thinking about what to comment on after each stanza (or so).  It’s usually either a story reminder, a clarification of tone, or the meaning of archaisms.

My bright boys, however, have an unusual capacity for focusing on the rhyming scheme of the stanza.  Perhaps they are just looking ahead at their stanza in anticipation, but they catch the slant rhymes and outright oofs! that Rose makes in his translation.  They delight in exaggerating their delivery to underscore the deviations from standard pronunciation.

A trivial example from XII.5, to illustrate: Continue reading ERC: Rhyming Furioso

God’s Lack of Experience

The hits just keep on coming: just recently I officially entered old age by throwing out my back picking up my son in the middle of the night.  Instead of bouncing back in a day or three, here I am doing therapy 3 weeks later to regain my full range of motion.  On top of everything else, it’s meant no chance to compose my thoughts.  Sleep is better than writing; c.f. Maslow.

For those of you who don’t know what a bad lower back feels like, may God continue to richly reward you.  It really is everything my older male friends warned me about: an indescribable, indefeasible, infantilizing pain.  Trust me: you don’t want to know first hand.  Unless you are looking for a shorter stay in Purgatory…

But my griping dovetails nicely with a question one of my Form III students posed last week while wrapping up Anselm’s Argument (The Argument, not one of his many others).  I’ve heard it many times before but his variation stuck with me because I didn’t answer it as well as I could have/should have.  I blame being rooted to a chair.

Namely: if God doesn’t learn, die, lie, fail, suffer, and the like, aren’t there things He doesn’t know?  Doesn’t this make him incapable of sympathizing with us who do, and therefore loving us? Continue reading God’s Lack of Experience