Ratschläge einer Raupe

“Alice and the Caterpillar” by John Tenniel (1820-1914), from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865)


Ratschläge einer Raupe is one possible German translation of “Advice from a Caterpillar”, which is the title of chapter five of Alice in Wonderland. But the drawing above doesn’t need a translation. John Tenniel and Lewis Carroll were a classic combination, like Quentin Blake and J.P. Martin or Thomas Henry and Richmal Crompton. Tenniel drew fantastic things in a matter-of-fact way, which was just right.

But that makes me wonder about Ratschläge einer Raupe. In German, Rat-schlag means “piece of advice” and Ratschläge is the plural. At first glance, the title is more fun in German: it alliterates and trips off the the tongue in a way the English doesn’t. And Schlag literally means “blow, stroke”, which captures the behaviour of the caterpillar well. Like many of the characters Alice encounters in Wonderland, he is a prickly and aggressive interlocutor. “Advice from a Caterpillar” is plain by comparison.

So perhaps that makes it better: it’s a matter-of-fact title for a surreal chapter. Tenniel’s art echoes that.

Advertisements

Der Sechsimus in der Musik

• Als Heifetz das Werk dann durchspielt, scheitert er mehrmals an einer extrem schwierigen Passage. Der unfehlbare Heifetz soll zu Schönberg sagen: Dafür müsste ich mir sechs Finger wachsen lassen. Schönberg erwidert angeblich: Na ich kann warten.

• When Heifetz then played through the work, he made several mistakes in a very difficult passage. The impeccable Heifetz said to Schoenberg: “I’d need to grow six fingers for that!” Schoenberg allegedly replied: “Well, I can wait!”

Methylomania

अभि द्यां महिना भुवमभीमां पृथिवीं महीम् ।
कुवित्सोमस्यापामिति ॥८॥
हन्ताहं पृथिवीमिमां नि दधानीह वेह वा ।
कुवित्सोमस्यापामिति ॥९॥ — ऋग्वेदः सूक्तं १०.११९

“In my vastness, I surpassed the sky and this vast earth. Have I not drunk Soma? / Yes! I will place the earth here, or perhaps there. Have I not drunk Soma?” — Ṛg Veda, Mandala 10, Hymn 119, lines 8-9, translated by Wendy Doniger


Note: The title of this incendiary intervention is a portmanteau of “methylated” and “megalomania”. “Methylated” comes from the ancient Greek μέθυ, meaning “wine” and related to μέθυστος “drunk, intoxicated” (OED).

Performativizing Papyrocentricity #60

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Conteur CompatissantShort Stories, Guy de Maupassant, translated by Marjorie Laurie (Everyman’s Library 1934)

Riff-Raph100 Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces, Gordon Kerr (Flame Tree Publishing 2011)

Fall of the WildA Fall of Moondust, Arthur C. Clarke (1961)

Orchid and OakVine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine et al (Thomas Nelson 1984)

Hoare HereRisingtidefallingstar, Philip Hoare (Fourth Estate 2017)


Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR

Performativizing Papyrocentricity #59

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Mobile MetalBattleground: The Greatest Tank Duels in History, ed. Steven J. Zaloga (Osprey Publishing 2011)

Allum’s Album – The Collector’s Cabinet: Tales, Facts and Fictions from the World of Antiques, Marc Allum (Icon Books 2013)

Aschen PassionDeath in Venice and Other Stories, Thomas Mann, translated by David Luke (1988)


Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR

Tott ist Rot

• Lautlos und fein rann der rostrot gefärbte Sand durch die gläserne Enge, und da er in der oberen Höhlung zur Neige ging, hatte sich dort ein kleiner, reißender Strudel gebildet. — Thomas Mann, Der Tod in Venedig (1912)

• Silently, subtly, the rust-red sand trickled through the narrow glass aperture, dwindling away out of the upper vessel, in which a little whirling vortex had formed. — “Death in Venice” (translated by David Luke)

Noise from Nowhere

• Es war, als ob er irgendwohin horchte, auf irgend ein unheimliches Geräusch. — Thomas Mann, Der kleine Herr Friedemann (1897)

• He seemed somehow to be listening, listening to some uncanny noise from nowhere. — “Little Herr Friedemann” (translated by David Luke)

Performativizing Papyrocentricity #57

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Do and DieThe Reason Why, Cecil Woodham-Smith (1953) (posted at O.-o.-t.-Ü)

Liddell im WörterlandLiddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott (1843)

Lunar or LaterMoon: From 4.5 billion years ago to the present: Owners’ Workshop Manual, David M. Harland (Haynes 2016)

Headlong into NightmareHeadlong Hall (1816) / Nightmare Abbey (1818)

Twisted TalesBiggles’ Big Adventures: Four Classic Stories Starring the British Empire’s Most Fearless Pilot Adventurer, Captain W.E. Johns (Sevenoaks 2007)

Stop the Brott – staying the serial slaying of a sanguinivorous psychoanalyst


• Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR