Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 467. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org  From: email@example.com Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.461: failure of another sort (79)  From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.457: going wrong, getting it right (94) -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2019-12-06 13:28:06+00:00 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.461: failure of another sort It is interesting to surmise that the poet is covering for the publisher post facto. But the book appeared in 2016 -- after the period that Alec McAllister describes -- when the software had improved to the point where it is unlikely that the effect was due to mere accident. Regardless of the origin of the challenge, a translator facing the "un-translation" in Zaher's text and respecting what is presented could provide a version all in capital letters, no spaces and displayed in mirror fashion which would preserve the "making strange". Given the number of deviations from "readable" presentation, I believe that the deliberate choice came early in the composition/publication process and was in part a function of the shadow cast by machine... > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 461. > Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London > Hosted by King's Digital Lab > www.dhhumanist.org > Submit to: email@example.com > > > > > Date: 2019-12-05 21:26:42+00:00 > From: Dr. Herbert Wender > Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.458: failure of another sort > > -----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung----- > Von: Humanist > An: publish-liv > Verschickt: Do, 5. Dez 2019 7:34 > Betreff: [Humanist] 33.458: failure of another sort > > > Â Date: 2019-12-05 00:33:49+00:00 > Â From: Francois Lachance > Â Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.455: failure of another sort > > One further note on intentions. There is none expressed explicitly in the > text. But the author is quite clear in an interview. > > A scan the WWW and one finds an interview. Note the characterization of > the passage as an "un-translation": > > [quote] > ... > Maged Zaher: > > So much hinges on this un-translation and its typeset - so much > I will leave it at that > [/quote] > > https://entropymag.org/trying-to-bring-some-intensity-to-the-daily-a- > conversation-with-maged-zaher/ > ... > > I'm happy to have asked for evidence "in the text or elsewhere", and now - > thanks for the clarification! - I see that there is evidently no evidence > for > any of the hypotheses. But I take the author's silence about intentions as > a > speaking one. > > For everyone who knows the publishing business Alec McAllister's post with > an > explanation of erratic effects in typesetting arabic text - and with > impressive > examples - sounds very plausible. While the interview can be read as if > Zefer > made an effort to grab for effect through enigmatic typesetting, the > suspicion > of technical causes let me tend to assume that the poet's cryptic answer > has to > be taken as ex post facto obfuscation which allowed him not to blame his > publisher. > > Kind regards, Herbert -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2019-12-06 06:47:36+00:00 From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.457: going wrong, getting it right > On 3,Dec2019, at 11:05 PM, Humanist wrote: > ... > Date: 2019-12-02 07:21:38+00:00 > From: Willard McCarty > Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.433: going wrong? getting it right? > > ... ironically the problem is that I went wrong by > oversimplifying: it all depends on what you're after. One way of putting > the matter is this: if you're after the mathematics of something and can > formulate it in a model, then the necessary simplification can get it > right; if you're after the experiential truth of it down to the last > detail, then the model falsifies by simplifying. > > Does that hold up? I don’t know enough mathematics to know whether getting it right always involves simplification; it’s not clear to me that having the natural numbers, and the integers including the negative numbers, and the rationals, and the irrationals, and the imaginary numbers, is necessarily a simplification over the naive view that there are “numbers”. But it does appear from outside that simplification CAN lead to truth in mathematics (and abstraction often looks like simplification). In some cases. As for experiential truth — maybe. But I think your idea does not always hold, unless by “experiential truth” you mean something so hazily defined that no two people could be expected to agree on whether the experiential truth of some matter has or has not been captured. Does it falsify our experience of English poetry to understand Yvor Winters’s view that the spine of that history is (I oversimplify somewhat and out of profound ignorance) the history of the plain style? I have heard a number of scholars of English say that grasping Winters’s account had made it possible for them to learn and organize much more about English literature than had been possible for them without that organizing principle, even though they were not “Wintersians” and didn’t actually agree with much of what Winters said. I daresay similar claims may be and have been made for the work of Northrop Frye. And among medievalists I suspect some people feel that way about the work of D.W. Robertson, or did a few decades ago. Certainly many people feel that way about the work of Milman Parry and A. B. Lord, even if they don’t believe that “oral” and “oral formulaic” are either intensionally or extensionally equivalent. Does it falsify the experiential reality of the Germanic languages to have seen and understand the pattern by which the p, t, and k of non-Germanic Indo-European languages routinely correspond to f, th, and h in Germanic languages (pisces / fish, tres / three, centum / hundred)? Or the patterns that hold between German and the other Germanic languages? There are cases in which the pattern does not hold; do we come closer to truth (or experiential reality) if we see a pattern with some exceptions we do not understand (unless we are Karl Verner and formulate Verner’s Law to identify a pattern in the exceptions), or if we see a patternless sea of sound? Our experience of literature depends a lot on what we bring to it as readers. Our experience of language may vary somewhat depending on whether the language in question is one we speak or not. In neither case is it clear to me that it makes sense to speak in the singular of “the experiential reality” of the thing. If I allow myself, reading Homer or a translation of a modern Bosnian narrative poem, to be aware of the mechanisms of oral formulaic composition, is the experiential reality of the work falsified by the oral-formulaic theory, or constituted in part by it? In high school my English teacher explained the formulas of Homer with what I now realize was a reductive and inaccurate paraphrase of Parry and Lord’s work. It made a lasting impression on me and colored my understanding of Homer. I would say now that it gave me a distinctly false understanding of the formulas and their function, and also of the Odyssey. But can it be said to to have oversimplified and falsified the experiential reality of the Odyssey? I did not feel it as a simplification, merely as an explanation (an alternative to the explanation “Homer is an incompetent poet and not worth reading”, which was not unpopular among my classmates), and its relation to my experience of Homer was much too intimate and complex to be described as either falsification or non-falsification. What did you mean by “experiential reality”? ******************************************** C. M. Sperberg-McQueen Black Mesa Technologies LLC firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.blackmesatech.com ******************************************** _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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