Friday, 14 June 2013

The Return of The Golden Cobra and Lynne Truss who must be obeyed.


Jeff whom I know was talking to Charlie at the till. I said to them:
Jeff,you should cut out the middleman and sell your books directly to me.

Jeff must be reviewing mystical publications for some outlet or other in the States, he's originally from there. I come across them in Charlie's and buy them. There's no mistaking his flourish of an autograph and his deplorable habit of underlining with a felt-tip pen. May I reveal that his underlining is generally to the front of the book. Definitely review copies.

One of the books which came to my stickier paw was The Voyage and the Messenger by Henry Corbin (pub. by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley in 1998) which I have mentioned here before and will again but what interests me today is the note from the translator (Joseph Rowe) at the front of the book. It is an early and perfect example of what Ed Feser calls the pc-whipped a somewhat invidious epithet perhaps. Besides there's no such thing.

Translation note: the exclusive use of the masculine gender as a universal personal pronoun is no longer accepted as good usage in contemporary English. Although we respect the spirit of this contemporary usage, we have been faced with the problem of faithfulness to Henry Corbin's language, which is not only in the style of a different era, but a different linguistic context: in French, the feminine gender is also often used as a universal personal pronoun, so that the situation is more balanced. Although we have taken care to avoid masculine pronouns when not required, there are some passages where it is unavoidable. We ask the reader to bear this in mind, if the language in these passages seems outdated or insensitive.

In felt-tip below and also underlined is the single Puleeze

Cf. Golden Cobra
in which commentor ktismatics mentions that the French 'on' has crept into his daughters usage through her years in France. I imagine that the translator eliminated those as an example of vile personalism or even the closed consciousness of solipsism.

And while we're about it, that colon after 'context'. Why? The sense and meaning of linguistic content and in French cling together so there's no need not to have a full stop. It's not like Lynne Truss's example in her delightful Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Tom locked himself in the shed: England lost to Argentina A full stop after 'shed' would leave too much of a disjunction and a lack of connection between the self locking and the event which precipitated it. There is no such disjunction between 'linguistic' and 'French'.

Fancy a cup of cocoa Eric? And can I tempt you to a ginger biccy?

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