2012年2月29日 星期三

Sorrows of Werther (Thackeray )

Sorrows of Werther is a satirical poem by William Makepeace Thackeray written in response to the enormous success of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

WERTHER had a love for Charlotte

Such as words could never utter;

Would you know how first he met her?

She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,

And a moral man was Werther,

And for all the wealth of Indies

Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sigh’d and pin’d and ogled,

And his passion boil’d and bubbled,

Till he blew his silly brains out,

And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body

Borne before her on a shutter,

Like a well-conducted person,

Went on cutting bread and butter.



(柏克談法國革命: 沒有政治 只有政事激情)

Those who quit their proper character to assume what does not belong to them are, for the greater part, ignorant both of the character they leave and of the character they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world, in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they pronounce with so much confidence, they have nothing of politics but the passions they excite. Surely the church is a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.

2012年2月27日 星期一

The best Charles Dickens characters

The best Charles Dickens characters

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens this month, a host of Telegraph writers pick their favourite Dickens character.

Charles Dickens 'excelled in the creation of characters,' said poet TS Eliot
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Charles Dickens 'excelled in the creation of characters,' said poet TS Eliot

Charles Dickens, whose 200th anniversary is being celebrated this month, still has a remarkable appeal for readers and writers alike. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Hardy, Edgar Allan Poe and Somerset Maugham are among the writers who have lavished praised on a master storyteller, of whom T.S. Eliot wrote: “Charles Dickens excelled in character; in the creation of characters of greater intensity than human beings.”

Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth and to celebrate his double centenary we have asked 29 Telegraph writers to pick their favourite Dickens character and we will be publishing one every day online throughout February. The series starts today with Music Critic Neil McCormick's appreciation of Pip, the hero of Great Expectations.

"My favourite Charles Dickens character" will include:

• Pip (Great Expectations) by Neil McCormick

• Quilp (The Old Curiosity Shop) by Christopher Howse

• Rosa Dartle (David Copperfield) by Rupert Christiensen

• Sissy Jupe (Hard Times) by Florence Waters

• Madame Defarge (A Tale Of Two Cities) by Daisy Bowie-Sell

• Aged Parent (Great Expectations) by Martin Chilton

• Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) by Charles Spencer

• Uriah Heep (David Copperfield) by Mark Monahan

• Estella (Great Expectations) by Serena Davies

• Stephen Blackpool (Hard Times) by Dominic Cavendish

• Esther Summerson (Bleak House) by Rachel Ward

• Thomas Gradgrind (Hard Times) by Morwenna Ferrier

• Joe Gargery (Great Expectations) by Tim Robey

• Sarah Gamp (Martin Chuzzlewit) by Robbie Collin

• Bill Sikes (Oliver Twist) by Catherine Gee

• Mr Pickwick (The Pickwick Papers) by Sameer Rahim

• Wilkins Micawber (David Copperfield) by Terry Ramsey

• Sir Leicester Dedlock (Bleak House) by Andrew Baker

• Mr Brownlow (Oliver Twist) by Clive Morgan

• Miss Havisham (Great Expectations) by Lorna Bradbury

• Jo The crossing sweeper (Bleak House) by Paul Gent

• Jennie Wren (Our Mutual Friend) by Ivan Hewett

• Nancy (Oliver Twist) by Lucy Jones

• Sydney Carton (A Tale Of Two Cities) by Patrick Smith

• Bazzard (The Mystery Of Edwin Drood) by Philip Womack

• The Artful Dodger (Oliver Twist) by Andrew Marszal

• Ninetta Crummles (Nicholas Nickleby) by Sarah Crompton

• Mr Pumblechook (Great Expectations) by Andrew Pettie

• Oliver Twist (Oliver Twist) by Gaby Wood

For more information and stories on Charles Dickens see the Telegraph Charles Dickens page.

2012年2月22日 星期三

find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china

錢鍾書 管錐篇三 "雨過天晴磁配窮人"?

Part 4: Wilde at Oxford/Oxford Gone Wilde

"The Six-Mark Tea-Pot" in Punch, October 30, 1880.

"The Six-Mark Tea-Pot" by George Du Maurier is widely considered to be Wilde's first appearance in Punch. While the aesthetic bridegroom does not look too much like Wilde, the cartoon clearly alludes to Wilde's famous remark at Oxford that I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china. The cartoon marks the beginning of Punch's (and Du Maurier's) long relationship with Oscar Wilde.

"The Six-Mark Tea-Pot" in Punch, October 30, 1880.

2012年2月19日 星期日

Sohrab and Rustum: An Episode

沙場尋父行 劉師華譯 (五言古風 712韻 七千多字) 台北:正中 1980 (修正版 附英文) 蕭公權序

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sohrab and Rustum: An Episode is a narrative poem with strong tragic themes first published in 1853 by Matthew Arnold.[1] The poem retells a famous episode from Ferdowsi's Persian epic Shahnameh relating how the great warrior Rustum unwittingly slew his long-lost son Sohrab in single combat. Arnold, who was unable to read the original, relied on summaries of the story in John Malcolm's History of Persia and Sainte-Beuve's review of a French prose translation of Ferdowsi.[2] In Sohrab and Rustum, Arnold attempted to imitate the "grandeur and rapidity" of Homer's style which he was to discuss in his lectures On Translating Homer (1861).[3] The poem consists of 892 lines of blank verse.

[edit] Synopsis

The armies of the Persians and the Tartars have met on a plain by the River Oxus. The young warrior Sohrab, who is fighting for the Tartars, asks the Tartar general Peran-Wisa to delay the battle so he can challenge the Persian lords to single combat. He hopes that the fame he will win from this feat will reach the ears of his long-lost father Rustum ("I seek one man, one man, and one alone - /Rustum, my father..."). Peran-Wisa is reluctant to let Sohrab risk his life in such a way and tells him he would be better to seek Rustum far away in Seistan, where the old warrior is living in retirement with his father Zal. Nevertheless, he reluctantly agrees to Sohrab's request and challenges the Persians to choose a champion to fight with the young man. The Persians are at a loss whom to send, but Gudurz learns that Rustum has arrived in the camp the night before and goes to Rustum's tent to try to persuade him to take up the challenge. Rustum at first refuses, claiming he is too old and battle-weary and feels unappreciated by the young Persian king Kai Khosroo. Unaware of the young man's true identity, he says he wishes he had a son like Sohrab. Gudurz eventually persuades Rustum to fight but Rustum only agrees on condition that he meets Sohrab incognito, wearing plain armour ("Let not men say of Rustum, he was match'd / In single fight with any mortal man.")

Sohrab and Rustum face each other between the two armies. Rustum is moved to pity at the sight of the youth and offers to take him back to Seistan to live as his son if he will give up the fight. Sohrab has an intuition that the man is his father and asks him if he is indeed Rustum. Rustum fears that this is simply a trick so the lad can boast of having challenged the great warrior and refuses to reveal his identity. The combat begins.

Rustum misses Sohrab with his club, giving his opponent the opportunity to spear him. Instead, Sohrab offers Rustum a truce. Rustum angrily refuses, calling Sohrab a "girl", and the fight continues with ever greater intensity. Finally, as he is about to deliver a mighty blow, Rustum shouts out the battle cry "Rustum!" Hearing the name so unexpectedly confuses Sohrab and he drops his guard, allowing Rustum to deal him a mortal wound. As Sohrab lies dying, he proudly declares his ancestral lineage, promising that his own father - Rustum - will somehow hear of his demise and revenge him.

Admiring the lad's spirit - but frankly disbelieving his words - the victorious Rustum demands certain proofs to establish Sohrab's claim. Sohrab readily complies - finally revealing a heraldic emblem tattooed upon his upper arm by his mother when still a child. Rustum - recognising his own heraldry - and convinced too late of the truth of Sohrab's words - drops his arms and tears his hair, wailing in grief and shame. Holding his only son - whom he had never before met, and whom he has now unwittingly slain - Rustum disdains any further part in the warfare, and the opposing armies withdraw in peace.[4]

[edit] External links

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Arnold, Matthew Poetical Works Oxford University Press, 1950.
  2. ^ Poetical Works, pp.488 - 493
  3. ^ Craig W. Kallendorf A Companion to the Classical Tradition (John Wiley & Sons, 2010) p.87
  4. ^ Arnold, Matthew. Poetical Works Oxford University Press, 1950. pp. 61-ff.

2012年2月17日 星期五

Verses on the Prospect of Planting Art and Learning in America

他歸國選的詩 比胡適當年回國所選的更幸運 (Newman主教的回憶錄弄錯了Illiad 的一段)


Why is Berkeley called Berkeley?

On May 24, 1866, some of the trustees of the private College of California met on their future campus site at a place later called Founder’s Rock. The trustees had been hoping for months to find an appropriate name for their property, which included the proposed campus for their College and adjacent land they were subdividing for residential development. Bishop George Berkeley

As they stood at the rock outcropping looking west towards San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate, trustee Frederick Billings recalled a poem written in 1726 by George Berkeley, who later became a respected philosopher and the Anglican Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland. Bishop Berkeley had unsuccessfully endeavoured to create a missionary college for both British colonists and Native Americans in the American colonies. His poem especially the last stanza (see below), expressed his idealism.

Many of the trustees were familiar with George Berkeley’s writings, and the name and poem resonated with them as they stood looking west to the Pacific. That day at lunch at the home of College President Samuel Willey, the trustees apparently continued to discuss "Berkeley." Later in the afternoon, they met formally in San Francisco (with Billings absent) and voted to adopt the name "Berkeley" for their new campus site.

A dozen years later, in 1878 "Berkeley," the settled area around the small campus, merged with "Oceanview," the original community that was establlished along the waterfront, and they incorporated as one. It was decided to officially use the name "Berkeley" for the entire community.

Bishop George Berkeley

Verses on the Prospect of Planting Art and Learning in America
The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime  Barre of every glorious theme,  In distant lands now waits a better time,  Producing subjects worthy fame:  In happy climes, where from the genial sun  Aand virgin earth such scenes ensue,  The force of art by nature seems outdone,  And fancied beauties by the true:   In happy climes, the seat of innocence,  Where nature guides and virtue rules,  Where men shall not impose for truth and sense  The pedantry of courts and schools:
There shall be sung another golden age,  The rise of empire and of arts,  The good and great inspiring epic rage,  The wisest heads and noblest hearts.  Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;  Such as she bred when fresh and young,  When heavenly flame did animate her clay,  By future poets shall be sung.  Westward the course of empire takes its way;  The four first Acts already past,  A fifth shall close the Drama with the day;  Time’s noblest offspring is the last.

2012年2月6日 星期一

They flee from me that Sometime did me Seek

Prefaces to The experience of literature

, 第 1-4 卷
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979 - 302 頁
Introductions to works by authors as varied as Sophocles, Hemingway, Blake, Lawrence, and Lowell, all of which appeared originally in Trilling's unique anthology, are brought together to provide insight into masterpieces of world drama, fiction, and poetr

關於作者 (1979)

Trilling has exerted a wide influence upon literature and criticism: as university professor at Columbia, where he taught English literature, and in his long association with Partisan Review, Kenyon Review, and the Kenyon School of English (now the School of Letters, Indiana University). He considered himself a true "liberal"---having a "vision of a general enlargement of [individual] freedom and rational direction in human life. Yet even liberalism, Trilling insisted, was simply one of several ways of organizing the complexity of life; however, it can reveal "variousness and possibility" just as literature, its subject, does. Trilling was viewed as a genteel moralist, but never would settle for mere simplification in literary analysis even if it led to understanding.


不過各篇都未付原文 令人不知所云 譬如說 舉Trilling自己的小說為例 譯得很奇怪

舉一首詩為例 作者解釋 RANGE/SEEK/CHANGE 等字眼為狩獵用與 不過中譯本仍抄不知哪的翻譯

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

They flee from me that Sometime did me Seek

1They flee from me that sometime did me seek
2With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
3I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
4That now are wild and do not remember
5That sometime they put themself in danger
6To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
7Busily seeking with a continual change.

8Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
9Twenty times better; but once in special,
10In thin array after a pleasant guise,
11When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
12And she me caught in her arms long and small;
13Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
14And softly said, "dear heart, how like you this?"

15It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
16But all is turned thorough my gentleness
17Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
18And I have leave to go of her goodness,
19And she also, to use newfangleness.
20But since that I so kindly am served
21I would fain know what she hath deserved.


1] "The louer sheweth how he is forsaken of such as he sometime enioyed" (Tottel).

2] stalking: walking carefully in a stealthy way.

5] in danger: under obligation to me, in my debt (or possibly even: in my power).

9] Twenty times better: better on twenty occasions; or more than twenty times?
in special: especially.

10] pleasant guise: pleasing style, or possibly behaviour or livery (dress).

12] small: slender.

14] heart: a play on "hart."

15] broad waking: wide awake.

16] thorough: through.

18] leave to go of her goodness: her gracious permission to go (ironically).

19] newfangleness: literally: fondness for novelty, following the fashion; fickleness.

20] kindly: in a kind way (ironically), and according to nature (as a wild animal would behave).

Commentary by Ian Lancashire

Complaints by a male abandoned by his mistress are seldom as thoughtful as Sir Thomas Wyatt's "They flee from me." In the Henrician Renaissance, women lacked most of the legal, social, and sexual rights we have taken increasingly for granted since the 1920s. Married Henry VIII enjoyed his mistress, Elizabeth Blount, by whom he had a male child, and seduced many other women, including the Boleyn sisters, before he eventually divorced Katherine of Aragon to marry Anne. His court followed the king's example with women. Courtiers, like Henry, wrote love lyrics in pursuing a woman's sexual favours, but once seduced, unmarried women lost their power. Few men would complain, in lyrics, about being rejected by someone they had successfully bedded because they usually were fully prepared to move on to new sexual partners and positions.

Wyatt's personal lyric, uttered reflectively to what seems an intimate friend, reverses the usual male-female roles in sexual liaisons. Promiscuous at first, in the opening stanza, giving "bread" to the mouths of many who sought him out in his chamber, Wyatt himself is "caught" (12) in the second stanza by one of the "wild" ones he used to tame there. Before, those that sought him out came with "naked foot" (2), vulnerable and complaisant. They ate at his hands. Then came one who unrobed herself and brought a kiss down to his mouth as he "lay broad waking" (15). The man to whom women had once lowered themselves to take their nourishment at his hand now appears prostrate before a woman who lets her thin gown drop from her shoulders, naked again, as before, but this time standing over him and bending herself down to him. Her power over him comes out in her questioning, "dear heart, how like you this?" This time, she is the pleasure-giver.

The poem centres on this moment, a male sexual fantasy. It is one thing for a man to take what he wants from diminished creatures, but quite another to have the seduced orchestrate her own sexual service. To be desired for the "bread" he has to offer pales besides being treated as the bread itself. Even as a male seducer becomes a seduced, the female who put herself "in danger" before takes his former power. This exchange in place occasions the change that Wyatt introduces in the first line. The seeker now leaves him for other interests, for "newfangleness" (19).

In the third stanza Wyatt describes this reversal, not as betrayal, but as courtesy. It is a "strange fashion of forsaking" (17) -- foreign and unEnglish -- because she takes her cue from his own "gentleness." Before, when she among many others came to his chamber and put themselves "in danger," whether of rejection, rape, or love longing, he gave them "bread" by hand. His promiscuous gentleness tamed them, in turn, to be "gentle." Later, he submitted to his mistress's own advances when, "sweetly," she kissed him; and this time he, not she, acquiesced. When she gives him "leave to go of her goodness," permission for them both to do what he had done many times himself, that is, to practice "newfangleness" and play the field (19), she mirrors his gentle nature. Yet this leads Wyatt to pose the poem's closing ethical problem: "since that I so kindly am served / I would fain know what she hath deserved." Does her abandonment of him merit a like gentleness and sophistication because he is fundamentally responsible for laying down the rules of their relationship? or does Wyatt deserve the sympathy owing to a victim, and his mistress the contempt of a woman loose in more than her gown? Love affairs are rife with insoluable difficulties. Ending as it does, should we say that Wyatt's poem leaves us without an answer?

If poetry were just information, we should be dissatisfied, but Wyatt carefully deploys language and metaphor to imply what cannot be stated. His choice term "kindly" (20) means, not only "considerately" (possibly with an ironic undertone), but "according to nature or species." The first stanza describes the women that sought his favours simply as "they" and "them," without hinting that they are either feminine or human. Other words applied to them, such as "stalking," "tame," "wild," "take bread at my hand," and "range," belong to a world of creatures rather than people. In Early Modern English, Wyatt appears to be describing birds, either pigeons or birds of prey. The Henrician court hunted routinely with falcons and hawks, which were controlled by means of jesses, slips of leather around their legs, and whose feet were called "stalks" (OED "stalk," sb. 1, 3). The verb "seek," as well, has hunting associations. Birds "with naked foot" were thought tame, unlikely to fly away except on command, but something happened to make them wild and return to their unpredictability.

Not only do the birds of the first stanza become the woman of the second, but she becomes the hunter, catching (12) Wyatt the "dear heart" (which may be a play of words on the noblest game, the "hart"). The male hunting man is thus transformed into a submissively gentle prey. Both man and woman, in turn, become less than human. In their natural world, questions of ethics, responsibility, and deserving do not apply. That is what Wyatt wants to know and cannot bring himself to admit. Changeability is a characteristic of the material world under the moon, not of the morally charged spirit. He has been treated naturally. She is not guilty by reason of diminished responsibility.

In his poetic revision of Wyatt's poem (1991), Gawin Ewart turns Wyatt's birds into "chicks" and calls his forsaking mistress a "bitch." This transformation reflects late 20th-century sexual mores and uses a vocabulary of human character with which Wyatt would not have been familiar. A 16th-century lover, bewildered in several senses, has given away to our new man, "emotionally underpriviliged" in a woman's world.

Online text copyright © 2011, Ian Lancashire (the Department of English) and the University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: British Library Egerton MS. 2711, fol. 26v; cf. Richard Harrier, Canon (1975): 131-32.
First publication date: 1557
RPO poem editor: F. D. Hoeniger, Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RP 1963: I.7 (F. D. Hoeniger); RPO 1994 (IL).
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/1*1:2002/9/9*1:2009/5/18

Composition date: 1525 - 1532
Form: Rhyme royal