Monday, January 27, 2014

Lost in snarkish translation

We're plodding through yet another exegesis of my Snark GN …  deep in the anapestic bowels of Fit the Second …

Yet another shameless Magritte pastiche, and not the last one to grace these pages, I'll wager. Shameless — the 10th Muse of Protosurrealism!

Even more shameless — this insistence that the crew of the HMS Snark use the French language for navigational purposes when it is clearly evident to anyone who has ever been lost at sea that English is the natural language of confusion. This is easily verified. Stand on a street corner in any francophone city and ask a stranger: where am I? If necessary, pull at shirtsleeves and wave your arms, speak very slowly while pronouncing every phoneme at the highest decibel level.

I shall be observing you from inside the comfortable vantage point of a nearby bottle of plonk. Do not make eye contact with me or else — sapristi! Garçon, call the police, this crazy-man-anglais-cowboy-streetperson is bothering me!

Words, words, words … if only they had the decency to cover themselves up, like the Bellman & Company. They have no loyalty, they can't be bothered to mean anything anymore, they're shameless!

NB. The champagne corks are popping and the mishti's flowing in Shillong and Mumbai … my wife's mawsi (aunt), Parveen Sultana, has just been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government. If time permits in your busy day, take half an hour to enjoy her artistry, you will not be disappointed …


  1. This page also reminded me of some scene in Hiroshi Teshigahara's movie The face of another - perhaps shouldn't I have been surprised: isn't Japan the place where things are most easily lost in translation?

    P. S.:Congratulations on the award won by Lady Singh's mawsi!

  2. I looked at the movie you mentioned on Wikipedia, it sounds very interesting, I must see it. The idea of the face being a lie has always fascinated me.

    A culture of translation, a brilliant idea!

    I have to say that whenever I feel tired or overwhelmed on some of my projects, whenever I listen to Farah's mawsi, I feel rejuvenated. There is no short cut to making art but practice of technique and her technique is now beyond technique … the place where the art finally starts!

  3. I like it. When I was a student in the seventies, I visited India mainly because of the music.

    1. Yes, her music is quite bravura. So, a visit to India, Götz, what a "long strange trip" that must have been. Perhaps that's where your Snark Hunt began …