‘They Destroyed Our Radios and Televisions’ by Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas
|March 26, 2013|
From Words Without Borders:
They destroyed our radios and televisions
to leave us without images,
without those maudlin songs
that lulled our past to sleep
back when we still believed in trains
by the seaside, at the ranch where Laura
carried her milk churns to the river
to meet the prince on horseback,
kissing the stamping steed on the mouth
like in Gwendolyn’s garden,
abandoned to what they called love.
They made us spend nights
reading Barthes and Derrida
until words came undone
in our hands and nothing had more value
than what it could have had but never did
as if promises and the past
were one and the same. We could only
love dead women, on screens
they appeared naked and desolate, the most beautiful
was the one whose body was covered in down,
a dead child at her breast.
Our eyes beheld only grief.
Inherent Vice’s Two Directions
The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.
Auden, Larkin and Love
I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”
Plato, Our Comrade?
Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.
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The Minister of the Interior stood in the middle of the room, assessing three suits laid over a chair. One was a pale morning-sky blue; the next tan, of light material, intended for these terrible summers; the last a heavy worsted English three-piece, gray, for state visits.
The academic who was to open the Professor A. Katz Memorial Evening wore her best dress. Elizabeth Woolacott was a large-boned, energetic woman. The dress, from an Oxfam shop, was antique gold velvet in sumptuous folds of burnish and tarnish.
The joke of it is,” Henry kept saying, “the joke is that there’s nothing to leave, nothing at all. No money. Not in any direction. I used up most of the capital year ago. What’s left will nicely do my lifetime.”