Continuing on from #1 & #2. Today began with E.F. Benson’s “Negotium Perambulans…” (1923), Algernon Blackwood’s “The Listener” (1907) (bonus De Quincey reference), and Arthur Machen’s “The Inmost Light” and “The Great God Pan” (both, 1894). With the Blackwood & Machen combo, I’m tempted to slip into a Golden Dawn members tangent; maybe I should add one of Crowley’s tales, perhaps from his mythology inspired Golden Twigs collection? So far, the selections have all been short stories; I may give a longer work a go for the next installment.
animî nostrî dêbent interdum âlûcinâri
Continuing on from earlier. Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s “A Torture by Hope” (1891) and the Erckmann-Chatrian piece “L’Oreille de la chouette”/”The Owl’s Ear” (1860) down, along with Charlotte Perkins Stetson (later Gilman)’s peculiar The Yellow Wall Paper (1892) (for the curious, see also her “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wall-Paper”: “It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked.”) this morning. This afternoon, Prosper Mérimée’s “The Venus of Ille” (1887) and Walter de la Mare’s “All Hallows” (1926). What next?
As an aside, I learned something while reading “The Venus of Ille”: “[…] you are a thinker and no longer notice women.”—If that’s a requirement, I’m apparently not a very good thinker!
Inspired by Ms Jonusas, I think I’ll try All Hallows Read. For inspiration, I intend to work my way through Lovecraft’s Supernatural Horror in Literature and read a selection of works mentioned there. Short and familiar, and more essay than tale, I’ve begun tonight with Thomas de Quincey’s “Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow” from his Suspiria de Profundis (1845). Next up: M.P. Shiel’s translation of Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s “La torture par l’espérance”, as “A Torture by Hope”.
(Update: Okay, maybe not next up, as I’ve instead just read M.R. James’ “Lost Hearts” from his Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), and Elizabeth Gaskell’s “The Old Nurse’s Story” (1852), originally published in Dickens’ magazine, Household Words.)
- ἀστέρων πάντων ὀ κάλλιστος (of all the stars, the fairest)
- πόλυ πάκτιδος ἀδυμελεστέρα, χρύσω χρυσοτέρα (far sweeter-sounding than the lyre, far more golden than gold)
- τὰν ἰόκολπον (violet-tressed, one with violets in her lap)
- ὦ κάλα, ὦ χαρίεσσα κόρα (o beautiful, graceful girl)
- ἦρος ἄγγελος ἰμερόφωνος ἀήδων (nightingale, sweet-voiced messenger of spring)
“Violet-tressed”? How do they get “tressed” out of that word? “Violets in her lap” also won’t work; the best there would be violet-lapped or having a violet lap, and if that makes no sense, it’s because it’s a mistake. More common is seeing it translated as “circled/girdled in violets”, but that comes from replacing the actual word ἰόκολπον with ἰόζωνον as emendation as if they were the same. It’s a compound word, ἴον + κόλπος, “purple breasts”; swapping out ἰόκολπον with ἰόζωνον allowed them to change it to “girdled with violets”, a trend that seems to’ve gotten its start in the Victorian translation era where they were afraid to to suggest anything vaguely “improper”, like, you know, breasts.
In earlier dictionaries, like the Lexicon Græco-Prosodiacum of Thomas Morell (London, 1824), they were more direct, so that on page 415 of said work, Ἴοκυλπος is defined as pulchrum pectus habens. That is, “having beautiful breasts.” In support, it cites a fragment of Alcæus, ἄεισον ἄμμι τὰν ἰόκολπον: “I sing of beautiful breasts.” It gives a footnote to the word, for any confused by how a prefix that literally means “purple” is being read as “beautiful”:
Uocem ἴον in hoc composito pro pulchro quodam ac lucido colore accipio: sicuti purpureus apud Latinos fulgentem simul atque albam cycnorum speciem denotat. Tenendum porro in memoria, uiolarum quasdam esse candidas.
That is, “I take the expression ἴον in this compound for something beautiful as well as of a white, as in clear or unblemished, complexion: in the same way purpureus (i.e. ‘purple’) in Latin writings indicates a kind of white swan, and further remembering that uiolarum quasdam (‘something violet’) means to be clear/spotless/white.” A modern Greek etymological work gives [ΕΤΥΜΟΛ. < ἴον + κόλπος «μπούστο»]—where μπούστο is modern Greek for “bust”.
Now, all that said, it’s still a nice thing to say, just remember, your flowery language is actually complimenting her boobs. Compliment away! As the monk Adso of Melk once said, Pulchra sunt ubera!
And, lastly, the album’s finally available on Amazon. It seems my choice to employ Greek, Cyrillic and other alphabets in track titles delayed its appearance; I was unaware Amazon’s software is seemingly still pre-Unicode. On the album page, you may see several track titles listed as “????”, etc.; I’m assured by the distributor that the correct titles are still embedded in the files and will display in one’s music player, and it’s only Amazon’s display code that’s failing to show them.
For reference, the official track list is:
Mi canción de atardecer
Soy feo (sin ti)
Nimicnicia m-a prins
Quem me dera ir embora
Continuing the iTunes and Google Play Music posts from earlier, the album is now live on Spotify here. Though the release is available currently, I was told by Spotify yesterday that it may be 2–4 weeks before my account is converted to an ‘artist account’ and integrated with the releases, so until that point I won’t be able to properly interact with followers or respond to messages there, so if you connect or follow, please bear with me as they get things sorted out.
This leaves only Amazon to go, but I don’t have an ETA for it as I was under the impression it would appear there before either Spotify or Google Play.
My new album discussed in this previous post is now available on Google Play and Google Play Music as well as the original iTunes link; I’ll update once it’s on Amazon and Spotify. I’m not sure what anyone else thinks of the disc as a whole yet, but so far Google’s being immensely flattering with its “Related Artists”! (If they’re too small to see in the screenshot, from left to right: Frédéric Chopin, Ludovico Einaudi, Claude Debussy, George Winston, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Dustin O’Halloran, Harold Budd, Ólafur Arnalds, and Franz Liszt.) If it’s but a fraction so good as some of those, I’ll be happy with it.
For those interested, an album of some of my solo piano compositions has just gone live on iTunes. Unfortunately, I have no say over where or when in each track the sample preview begins, so some of them start on discords or other awkward spots. Ideally, it should also turn up on Google Play Music, Amazon and Spotify at some point over the coming week, but I can’t say exactly when.
A few have appeared here in the past, and some are new recordings of others that have, along with a few otherwise unreleased works, eleven in all. As loss in one form or another, whether death or separations, whether of friends, family or lovers, has been a primary inspiration in many of these pieces, the album has been titled for a line in Virgil’s Eclogues (which I translated in part here), “Omnia fert ætas”, “Time takes away all things”.
If it goes over well, I may release more material in the future; for those of you who have been following a while or who have browsed my original compositions tag, if you have a favorite piece, let me know and I will add it to the list of candidates for potential release.