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Journal of rafael (2125)

Wednesday April 23, 2003
07:18 AM

Books and dices

[ #11801 ]
I've read der Untergeher, by Thomas Bernhard. That's a long, obsessive soliloquy, about depressive pianists and Glenn Gould. The French title is le Naufragé, but it's not anywhere near the evocative power of the original title. In the book, Untergeher is consistently translated by sombreur.

Now I'm reading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, which is quite amusing. I'm reading it in French.

As I often do when I'm hesitating for the next book, I've browsed a lot. I found in the Exodus some references to Urim and Thummim, which appear to have caused lots of problems to translators, theologians and archaeologists. In the several bibles I own, those words are translated quite inconsistently. One of them, (the most recent one, unsurprisingly), admits that we'll probably never know what were those objects. One of the little fascinating mysteries of ancient texts...

What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture. -- Thomas Browne, Urn Burial

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