Monday, October 18, 2010

parade, greeting, aging


Posted by PicasaSandals on parade come up again as I draw on the holiday file.

As I walk down Mount Sion I pass an elderly neighbour struggling up the hill on the opposite side of the road. "Good morning," I say perhaps, too cheerfully. By way of acknowledgment, she pushes up her sunglasses, turns her head in my direction, and raises he hand in a forlorn of wave.

At a celebration dinner which goes on into the early hours of the morning guests  many of whom I hadn't seen for 10 years of more, are flattered by the candlelight and immediately recognisable.  I think of them as they were when I first knew them in vigorous middle age. But at breakfast in the hotel next morning, by daylight, I see, they have grown older, greyer less sure in their gait and become slightly bent at the shoulder.  I, of course, haven't changed at all, I catch myself telling myself, but then who notices, in the shaving mirror,  the small changes that take place every day, and stack up like dark clouds in the evening sky?

6 comments:

CC said...

On aging, there is some comfort in knowing others are experiencing the little changes as well.

My brother told me on his birthday, last week, he was shocked waking up that morning to find his wife in bed with a 62 year old man. ;-)

tristan said...

that'll be gilded clouds with silver linings in your case

Barrett Bonden said...

Of course you haven't changed at all. And you won't while I can play Sancho Panza to your Don. I should add fewer people visit my blog these days and there will be even fewer as I start scattering Cervantes witticisms as proof that I am moving slowly through this giant tome. Perhaps it will read better (as in eat better) on the Sony.

Plutarch said...

Thanks CC and T. RR: I find that my eReader helps with difficult texts. But the translation also helps. I don't know who is the translator of your edition, but there are some pretty grim ones. My best discovery was a really good translation of Rabelais, with well written and enlightening introductory notes. As you may have noted not all eReader editions are easy to navigate and find your way to a particular point in the text.

Good luck with Cervantes. Don Quixote often seems to me to be close to sublime for its balance between what is sad and hilarious and intensely human, in a way which we associate with Shakespeare.

Barrett Bonden said...

The translation is eighteenth-century by Peter Motteux "acknowledged as one of the best... succeeds in communicating the spirit of the originl Spanish". Example taken from the next to last page (161) I have reached:

"High and sovereign lady, He that is stabbed to the quick with the poniard of absence, and wounded in the heart with love's most piercing darts, sends you that health which he wants himself, sweetest Dulcinea del Roboso. If your beauty reject me, if your virtue refuse to raise my fainting hopes, if your disdain exclude me from relief, I must at last sink under the pressure of my woes, though much inured to sufferings: for my pains are not only too violent, but too lasting."

I've no problems with that, not least because it lies at the centre of the book's most telling use of comparison - that of the Don's view of Dulcinea and that of Sancho's.

Barrett Bonden said...

I should add that my earlier reference to "reading better on a Sony" has to do with the monstrously long paras, often including dialogue lacking line-breaks, where it is so easy to lose one's place and which I complained about in my blog.