[UPDATE, YEARS LATER: THIS POST IS VERY OLD AND I’M NOT SURE I CAN BE ARSED REVISING IT. WHO KNOWS, I MIGHT, IF I GET STUCK AT HOME IN SERIOUSLY INCLEMENT WEATHER, WITH AN INJURY THAT DOESN’T PREVENT ME FROM TYPING, UNLIMITED BOOZE, AND A NEED FOR THERAPEUTIC LISTING.]
☞ DOING: book—translation
☞ THINGS NEARLY DONE: articles
☞ THINGS DONE: dissertation—various—neologisms
book project (2010)
The Literary Good Life Courting Excess
A revised, contracted, and expanded version of the dissertation: about the changing connections and inter-connections between literature and ethics in the late 12th to early 14th centuries, principally in France, and centred on the idea of “courtesy.” The book will consider the evolution of literariness and texts intended for private reading, and what makes literature “literature” (as distinct from, say, the larger categories of “culture” and “imaginative life”); how and why literature is important during this particular period; and what impact these 13th-century changes have on a larger, current question: why literature and reading matter. While the work’s central chapters will investigate contemporary approaches to these topics, an outer frame draws parallels with 20th- to 21st-century intersections between writing and ethics.
[Updates—as “obrienatrix talking to herself” privately—on book work in progress. Other than the new and improved title (05/2010). There is also a spin-off book in progress, In The Company of Courteous Women: or rather, off-shoots, tangents, and the very long dissertation middle chapter are coming together into a second book.]
translation project (2010-12)
The Obrienatrix still admits to delighting in the Hubert & Porter (1962) translation of this fine 3th-century Occitan verse romance: near-McGonagallesque in its strict octosyllabic rhyming couplets, near-Wodehousian in camp and cheekiness, but not awfully True & Accurate. The more recent Blodgett (1995) isn’t bad, but doesn’t feel as nice as the work deserves. While there are decent modern French (Huchet, and indeed “even” the 1901 Paul Meyer, which I actually rather like) and Italian (Mario Mancini) translations, there is a gap in the market for a good English one.
Option (1): an “Englishing”: somewhere between blank verse and prose. Intended result: between prose poetry and poetic prose. So as to maintain maximum correspondence between original and translation. Preferably also, therefore, in a facing-page bilingual edition. Possibly online, so as offer useful e-text, mark-up, and pop-up features—or at worst a printed Englishing in conjunction with an online version that includes a parallel-text edition, along with other digitized bells and whistles.
Option (2): a “Version”: accepting the traduttore/traditore adage. Continuing the fine long tradition of versions, variants, and other refashionings. In concept, somewhere between Bédier’s Roman de Tristan et Iseult and Medieval(~ist/~istic/~ising/~ismical) fictions usually shelved by bookshops under “fantasy.” A distinction, by the bye, to which any right-thinking reader objects and which is risible to any respectable Medievalist.
THINGS NEARLY DONE
I am working on articles on the following. In combinations and permutations—each item is not a single article. They will be in process of submission at some point this year:
- Adam de la Halle
- Chrétien de Troyes, Lancelot
- Gaston Paris
- Guilhem de Peitieus
- Guillaume Apollinaire
- Jean de Meun, Roman de la Rose
- Jean Renart
- the Prose Lancelot-Grail Cycle
- Richard the Lionheart
- antifraternalism and misandrism
- courtesy and courtliness
- ethics and/of/in writing
- imprisonment and escapism
- nobility of heart
- le non-dit
“TROBAR COR(S): EROTICS AND POETICS IN FLAMENCA“
(Princeton University, 2006)
Supervisors: Karl D. Uitti† (2000-03); John V. Fleming & François Rigolot (2003-04); Sarah Kay (fall 2003, 2004-06)
- abstract, contents page, and longer description
- PDF of the dissertation (password on request) / @ Dissertation Abstracts International/ProQuest Digital Dissertations.
- publications, conference papers, and talks: see C.V.
- reviews: 1996 Cambridge International Film Festival Daily (selection):
- Interviews of Catherine Breillat and review of Parfait amour! (U.K. première)
- Review of Jean Audiard, Un héros très discret (U.K. première)
- Reviews of Pograbek and Jańcio Wođnik, for the first international Jan Jakub Kolski retrospective
I also have a long-standing interest in word-play: puns, formal poetic play, and portmanteau words. Quite proud of coining (I think?) the following:
- archimimocracy n. E21. [f. ARCHIMIME M17 f. L archimimus f. Gk. ἀρχίμῖμος: see ARCHI-, MIME, f. as ARCHIMIMOS + -CRACY]: government by comedians; more exactly, by the very finest political satirists; pl. ~ies.
See the OED entry for “democracy” and replace “the people” with “comedian(s)” throughout.
NB this is not like adding “in bed” to fortune-cookie prognostications; it is more like a new and enlightened version of the Philosopher-King, good comedians—the likes of Jeremy Hardy spring to mind—being our nearest real-world contemporary equivalent.
archimimocrat (pl. ~s)
archimimocratism, archimimocratic, archimimocratist
- arch-player: [article in progress on this one; see also dissertation, chapter three]
- fluid taphonomics: [appears in essay in Greco & Thorington 2010]
Top: doctored version based on cover of Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Women at Work in Medieval Europe (New York: Facts on File, 2001).
Bottom: Original pre-doctored image from photo-i; doctoring by the Obrienatrix (for The Rose of the Romance site, Princeton U, 2003). Carefully hand-crafted using open source software (BBEdit and KompoZer) and Photoshop.