terça-feira, dezembro 28, 2010

From a salvaged tome

On the seventh day of April,
in the year of that great battle
Between the lands of Azoth,
on the frozen North, and Agael,
of undaunted ships,
a troublesome dream came
to my tired Lord Asop.

In the grey, misty hours that
crept before the Sun rose,
his Lordship foresworn
aid and repose. And in his
glittering, caparizoned favourite horse
Rode, silent and troubled,
to the shores of the distant East.

From there, some say, he kept on marching
Either to the dark, steely sea,
Or to the stars that never set
beyond the last Thule of exalted fame.
And to this day, if asked about that day,
The fisherman of those lands reply
with a stern look, and a gentle
touch to the tip of their greased beards,
while, above their masts,
seagulls shriek while flying in ample circles.

So it is recorded on the last page of the
annals of the zingi, compiled, by
unknown scribes, towards the sixteenth year
of the great plague.

With Borges (an excerpt)

"FOR BORGES, THE core of reality lay in books; reading books, writing books, talking about books. In a visceral way, he was conscious of continuing a dialogue begun thousands of years before and which he believed would never end. Books restored the past. 'In time,' he said to me, 'every poem becomes an elegy.' He had no patience with faddish literary theories and blamed French literature in particular for concentrating not on books but on schools and côteries. Adolfo Bioy Casares once told me that Borges was the only men he knew who, concerning literature, 'never gave in to convention, custom or laziness'. He was a haphazard reader who felt content, at times, with plot summaries and articles in encyclopaedias, and who confessed that, even though he had never finished Finnegans Wake, he happily lectured on Joyce's linguistic monument. He never felt obliged to read a book down to the last page. His library (which like that of every other reader was also his autobiography) reflected his belief in chance and the rules of anarchy. 'I am a pleasure-seeking reader: I've never allowed my sense of duty to have a hand in such a personal matter as that of buying books.'"
MANGUEL, Alberto. 'With Borges'. London, Telegram, 2006. p. 31-32.

quarta-feira, dezembro 15, 2010

Almanacco Perpetuo di Rutilio Benincasa Cosentino

Parte I dell' Almanacco Perpetuo (Venezia, 1754).

Tratatto VII. d'Istorie, e Curiosità.
Discorso di molte cose curiose successe di tempo in tempo nel Mondo, cap. IV.
Seguono altre cose notabili. cap. V. (p. 304)

1498. In Milano si viddero tre Soli, e di notte molti Uomini a Cavallo scorrer per l'aria, e anco molte statue andare attorno, e combatter ìnsieme, e una donna partorì due creature maschio, e femmina attaccate insieme, ch'avean 4. gambe e 4. braccia ciascun' d'essi. In Germania nacque un fanciullo con due teste, quattro mani, e 6. orecchie, e una donna essendo stata dieci anni con il marito diventò uomo.