‘Libussa’ by Johann Karl August Musäus

‘Libussa’ is one of the tales related/retold by Johann Karl August Musäus, and first translated into English by Thomas Carlyle. It was published in Carlyle’s three-volume publication Translations from the German (1827). The tale below is a transcription of Carlyle’s translation (not one of my own translations). The tale was part of Musäus’s 1728 … Continue reading

Author : nike

The Wishing Bone Cycle

Recently, I posted my personal mixtape of fairytale and folklore selections: an eccentric list of fairy tales, folktales and other works, inspired (in the collating) by the eccentric collecting and publishing strategies of Andrew Lang. The list includes the poem/song below, which was included in The Wishing Bone Cycle: Narrative Poems from … Continue reading

Author : nike
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sixty-seven (The wise and foolish virgins)

The parable of the ten virgins (also known as the parable of the wise and foolish virgins) was enormously popular during the Middle Ages. There are sculptures of the virgins in many French and German cathedrals, including the Notre Dame de Paris and Strasbourg Cathedral. Bach’s chorale cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns … Continue reading

Author : nike

‘Richilde’ by Johann Karl August Musäus (as translated by William Thomas Beckford)

Perhaps the earliest literary (or written) version of the tale English speakers know as ‘Snow White’ appears in a collection of German folktales that precedes the Grimms’ first publication, in 1812, by about thirty years. In 1782, Johann Karl August Musäus published his Volksmärchen der Deutschen, an early collection of German folktales … Continue reading

Author : nike
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Wind Knots and the Polychronicon

The Polychronicon is a chronicle of the British Isles, written by Ranulf Higden (c. 1280-1364), a Benedictine monk of the monastery of St. Werburgh in Chester. Ranulf apparently travelled throughout the north of Great Britain after becoming a monk in 1299, when he was just nineteen years old. The Polychronicon is a work in seven books (in imitation of … Continue reading

Author : nike

Our golden hearts

I’ve been dreaming of covers for Dying in the First Person. The images in my head are of water, and of Samuel and Morgan (the twins around whom the novel swirls) as reflections of each other. So, of course, the images that come to me most often are Caravaggio’s Narcissus: Or this equally … Continue reading

Author : nike

‘The Beggar and the Hare’ by Tuomas Kyrö

You know that I like bunnies, right? In fact, I quite like all the woodland creatures, but rabbits, or hares, or bunnies have always appealed to me. Perhaps this can be explained semi-magically: they’re said by some to be one of the animals strongly associated with my sun-sign (Virgo). Maybe … Continue reading

Filed under : On Reading , On Translation
Author : nike

Translating Rilke: The (First) Duino Elegy

Lots of people speak about the difficulty of translating the first line of Rilke’s Duino Elegies, perhaps because it’s so well known (Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel/Ordnungen?). It’s a little like the opening line of Don Quixote, which can be used as a litmus test … Continue reading

Author : nike
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