domingo, 22 de enero de 2017

EL FINAL DE LA HOJARASCA

Here are my English and Spanish versions of an assignment I had to do for a course on García Márquez:

La hojarasca, The Leaf Storm, ends with the foreshadowing of the whistle of a ghost train and the disappearance of Macondo into that corner for heaping up "villages that no longer do a service to the nation." But it also ends, on a more personal note, with the funeral train of the late French doctor leaving the colonel's mansion, right before their confrontation with the local community. 
The last words are said by the grandchild: "Now they (the villagers) will sense the smell. Now all the curlews will begin to sing." These seabirds, that stand for tradition and the voice of the people, are clearly a leitmotif in the story, as much as the railway train and the leaf storm that represent the fruit company and the hinterland's connection to a globalised outside world, the impact that the arrival of the fruit company in general, illustrated in the particular case of the grass-eating and cohabitating European physician, has on traditional Macondo society. 
The railway is a powerful symbol of modernity and progress. In Clarín's story "Adiós, Cordera", the appearance of railroads and trains in a rural landscape (in that case, in northern Spain) also symbolizes the connection of the hinterland/backwater with a nineteenth-century globalized world and its market economy (market agriculture, market industry...), bringing in the outside world with all of its progress and all of its threats to traditional life. The final ghost train stands obviously for the decadence and return to isolation of Macondo as a discarded cog in the works of globalisation. Back to the childlike wonder even adults had at the start of 100 Years of Solitude, seeing a magnet and a block of ice brought by Romany peddlers from the outside world as magical objects. Back from railroads to curlews once more. 
The epigraph being Creon's decree (that anyone who buries the corpse of the traitor, exposed according to the law to scavengers and the elements, will be disgraced and executed in public) really foreshadows the fact that La hojarasca is basically going to be a retelling of Antigone in a (fictional) tropical rural village during wartime. 
The decrees of the social establishment (leave the traitor exposed as a mark of shame, execution awaits whoever buries or even mourned him) against those of the heart (every dead body deserves the same dignity; after all, we are all equal in death). That is not only a classical but even a UNIVERSAL theme; it's for instance at the heart of Hamlet (regarding revenge) or Romeo and Juliet (regarding young love). 
But the interesting thing is that Gabo didn't know he was unwittingly rewriting Antigone until one of his friends pointed it out. It's because this theme and this dilemma, like those of Shakespeare, are universal. The open ending is clearly enticing; how will the community and the family react during the funeral? Every reader is free to imagine their own ending. 
Would the villagers lunge at the colonel's family like an angry mob, and would he have to speak for the cause he defends? I imagine that ending. Furthermore, I'm sure the mob will learn their lesson and finally respect the colonel. The curlews will be hushed by the commanding voice they had hitherto overlooked until this moment, and sing in chorus with the old veteran.


La hojarasca concluye con la predicción de un tren fantasma y de la relegación de Macondo al rincón donde se almacenan "los pueblos que han dejado de prestar servicio a la nación". Pero también concluye, de forma más personal, con el cortejo fúnebre del difunto doctor francés dejando la mansión del coronel justo antes de su enfrentamiento con la gente del pueblo. 
El nieto dice las últimas palabras de la novela: "Ahora (los macondenses) sentirán el olor. Ahora todos los alcaravanes se pondrán a cantar". Estas aves marinas, también llamadas zarapitos, representan la tradición y la voz del pueblo en el relato y son, por ende, un Leitmotif, tanto como los trenes y la hojarasca (tormenta de hojas) que representan a la compañía bananera y la conexión entre el ambiente de periferia o hinterland de Macondo y un mundo exterior globalizado; el impacto general de la compañía frutera en la sociedad rural tradicional se ilustra con el caso particular de la llegada de cierto médico europeo amancebado y comedor de hierba. 
La ferrovía es un símbolo muy potente de la modernidad y del progreso: en "¡Adiós, Cordera!", de Clarín, la aparición del tren en un ambiente rural tradicional (del norte de España, en este caso) también representa la conexión de una sociedad periférica/de hinterland con el mundo exterior globalizado y su economía de mercado (agricultura de mercado, industria de mercado...), trayendo al terruño el mundo exterior con todo su progreso y todas sus amenazas a lo tradicional. 
El tren fantasma final representa, por ende, la decadencia y el retorno al aislamiento de Macondo como un engranaje desechado por la maquinaria de la globalización, de la economía internacional. Un retorno al asombro infantil que mostraban incluso los adultos al principio de Cien años de soledad, al ver un imán y un bloque de hielo que los gitanos nómadas han traído del mundo exterior como objetos mágicos. De vuelta de la ferrovía a los alcaravanes. 
El que el epitafio sea el decreto de Creonte (quien se atreva a sepultar o incluso a llorar al traidor, expuesto en público a los carroñeros y a los elementos, pagará con la pena de muerte), realmente predice que La hojarasca va a ser una reescritura de Antígona en un ambiente rural tropical (ficticio) en tiempos de guerra/posguerra. 
Los decretos de las autoridades sociales (dejar al traidor expuesto en público como marca de vergüenza, la ejecución espera a quien le entierre e incluso a quien le llore) en conflicto con los decretos del corazón (todos los cuerpos inertes merecen ser tratados con dignidad; al fin y al cabo, la muerte nos hace a todos iguales): he aquí un tema no sólo clásico, sino UNIVERSAL: también está en el fondo de Hamlet (a propósito de la venganza) o de Romeo y Julieta (a propósito del amor adolescente). 
Pero lo interesante es que Gabo no se dio cuenta de que había reescrito Antígona sin proponerse la idea hasta que uno de sus amigos hizo hincapié en ello. Es porque el tema y el dilema, como los de Shakespeare, son universales. El final abierto es realmente incitante: ¿cómo reaccionarán el pueblo y la familia durante el funeral? Cada lector/a es libre de imaginar su propio final. ¿Atacarán los macondenses a la familia del coronel en turba furiosa, y tendrá él que defender su causa ante el pueblo? Tal es el final que yo imagino. Y encima, estoy segura de que la turba habrá aprendido la lección y respetará al coronel. Los alcaravanes callarán ante la voz de mando que habían despreciado hasta la fecha, para cantar a coro con el anciano militar.



jueves, 19 de enero de 2017

BHH ON OMKARA - THE BOLLYWOOD OTHELLO



Yes, there is such a thing as a Bollywood Othello, set in our days' Uttar Pradesh. In which the title character is a half-caste regional leader (Omkara Shukla, played by Ajay Devgan) and his right-hand man Cassio is an Anglophone college boy (Keshav, played by Vivek Oberoi) whose cultural level sets him apart from most of the people in the hinterland setting. Desdemona is local lawyer's only daughter Dolly Mishra, also university-educated and Anglophone, and thus kindred spirits with Keshav. And Iago... Iago is Ishwar "Limp" Tyagi, played by Saif Ali Khan: Omi's right-hand man since they've had their posts and now left in the shade of this college boy with little to no experience in regional government.
The story follows the plot of Othello rather close up and putting a deconstructive spin on it, as most Bollywood films do to their source texts, expanding the runtime to three hours (both Shakespeare's and Verdi's are two-hour shows) and adding all of those elaborate musical numbers. Definitely a fresh new spin on the old story...

miércoles, 18 de enero de 2017

ON CHARLES LAMB'S OTHELLO

  • Only five of the Shakespearean leading characters appear in the Lamb story: Othello, Iago, Desdemona, Emilia, and Cassio. Bianca is fully missing, not even mentioned; while Roderigo is only mentioned in passing, not by name but as a "fellow Iago had set on," his motivation of unrequited love as lowed out as his name.
  • Othello was the first tragedy Charles Lamb adapted as a Tale. The second was the Scottish Play, after which he decided to retell in short prose all the other Shakespearean tragedies... minus the Roman tragedies and Titus Andronicus.
  • Charles wrote to Wordsworth that "we believe Othello is the best among the Shakespearean Tales I have written." Not only the first, but also the author's fave retelling! No surprise that it has endured to the present day!
  • The Lamb version lows out, at the end, that Othello's successor is Cassio, aside from giving a more righteous ending in which Iago is tortured with undescriptible pain, then executed in some unspecified way.
  • In the Lamb version, the attempt to murder Cassio happens off-story: the lieutenant is brought wounded and bleeding (no mention of his new disability) into his commanding officer's bedchamber and Iago's attack upon him is told as a rather succinct flashback.
  • Charles omits Othello's final suicidal speech and the fact that he understands his transgressions and cannot forgive himself for what he has done. It's the narrator who points out the faults in the general.

TYWIN OF THE LANNISTERS

So the Kuvira filk will have to wait a little longer because of this bunny I had this morning in bed... thinking of that song, of Tywin's rise to power, and of the similarities between both cases. Also... when was the last time I did a Westeros filk? Et voilà!! This is the Tywin Lannister success story retold to the same tune...

TYRION:
How does an awkward orphan,
son of a womanizing drunkard,
dropped in a forgotten spot of the far Westerlands by Seven Gods, impoverished, in squalor,
grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

OBERYN:
The young loner, so ashamed of his father,
got a lot farther by working a lot harder,
by being a lot smarter,
by being a self-starter...
by thirteen, he was cupbearer to the royal courtiers!

STEFFON:
And every day, while watching the ships sailing away across the water
from the ramparts of the Rock, he struggled and kept his guard up!
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of;
our stripling was ready to steal, beg, borrow, or barter!

AERYS:
Then a heart attack came, his dad got this chest pain
while climbing up a staircase; the maester's skill was in vain...
At the funeral, he got that flash of passion in his brain,
and he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain!

TYRION:
Well, the word got around, they said: "He's with insanity frought!";
took up a collection just to send him to the royal court!
AERYS:
"Get your education, don't forget from whence you came,
and the world's gonna know your name!
What's your name?"

YOUNG TYWIN:
Tywin of the Lannisters...
My name is Tywin of the Lannisters...
and there are many things I haven't done,
but just you wait, just you wait!

JOANNA:
When he was six, his mother closed her eyes forever, bedridden...
Two years later, see Tywin out of fear and shame hidden,
away from mistresses and sick, the scent real thick...
EVERYONE, IN CHORUS:
And Tywin got better, but his father went quick...

AERYS:
Weary of his birthplace and Lannisters' social suicide,
left him with nothing but ruined pride, something new inside...
A voice saying:
EVERYONE, IN CHORUS:
"Tywin, you've gotta fend for yourself!"
AERYS:
Started retreating and reading every treatise on the shelf...

OBERYN:
There would have been left nothing to do for someone less astute;
he would have been dead or destitute, or made a fine male prostitute!
Started rising, visualizing his new future as a lord,
paying back all gathered debts for all the things he can't afford!
TYRION:
Scamming (scamming) for every book he can get his hands on!
Planning (planning) for the future, see him now as he stands on
the bow of a ship, (oooh) headed across the land...
In King's Landing, you can be a new man!

EVERYONE:
In King's Landing, you can be a new man!
YOUNG TYWIN:
Just you wait...
EVERYONE:
In King's Landing, you can be a new man!
YOUNG TYWIN:
Just you wait...
In King's Landing, you can be a new man!
In King's Landing, in King's Landing...
YOUNG TYWIN:
Just you wait...

EVERYONE, IN CHORUS:
Oh, Tywin of the Lannisters...
we're waiting in the wings for you...
You could never back down,
you never learned to take your
ti-i-i-i-ime!
Oh, Tywin of the Lannisters...
When Westeros sings for you,
will they know what you overcame?
Will they know that you changed the game?
The world will never be the same, oh-oh...

TYRION:
The ship is in the harbour now, see if you can spot him!
(YOUNG TYWIN: Just you wait...)
OBERYN: 
Another parvenu coming up from the bottom...
(YOUNG TYWIN: Just you wait...)
His enemies destroyed his rep, and Westeros forgot him...

STEFFON, BARRISTAN, AERYS:
We fought with him!
EDDARD:
Me? I died for him!
AERYS:
Me? I trusted him!
JOANNA, CERSEI, SHAE:
Me? I loved him!
OBERYN:
Me? I poisoned him!
TYRION:
And me? I'm the bloody fool that shot him!

EVERYONE:
There's a million things I haven't done,
but just you wait, just you wait...

YOUNG AERYS:
What's your name?

EVERYONE IN CHORUS:
Tywin of the Lannisters!!

THE ART PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY AND SHAKESPEARE?

We already know that the Art Professor at the University, only known for his profession/office and his equation of the not beautiful with the not useful, is a secondary character, nay, a bit character created by Oscar Wilde for satirizing the ivory tower intelligentsia's/academia's aesthetic views, as well as a fantasy counterpart inspired by Wilde's mentor Walter Pater.
So where does the Bard of Avon fit in?
 gli sterili commenti [···] del professore d’arte [···], che già Wilde aveva modellato sui dialoghi clowneschi dei cortigiani di Shakespeare.18  
(Here, Annotation 18 is inserted)

I read this excerpt by Luca Federico and went... well, short of words. 
Federico explains below, in Annotation 18: 
18 Pensiamo, per esempio, alle battute di Osric nella seconda scena del quinto atto di Hamlet. 

What is interesting is Osric's pompous and artificial mannerisms, which the Bard satirizes in a similar way. The adjective "flowery" is used in study guides left and right to describe Osric's style of conversation.
Just have a look here in this link: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/hamlet/page_312.html

lunes, 16 de enero de 2017

MADE DRUNK; THE VOICE SHALL BE HEARD NO MORE (REVELATION)

(4)   The inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of adulteries;
and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of fornication.

REV 17:2... (4)   The inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of adulteries;
"Wine of her fornication": The harlot's influence will extend beyond the world's rulers to the rest of mankind (compare verse 15; 13:8, 13:14). The imagery does not describe actual wine and sexual sin, but pictures the world's people being swept up into the intoxication and sin of a false system of religion.
The same way a drunken person naturally has no earthly idea what he is doing, this apostate group is so carried away with the world that they, too, do not realize the terribleness of what they are doing.  

"the inhabitants of the earth," who are represented as having been "made drunk with the wine of fornication."

 Here were allurements suited to sensual and worldly minds. Prosperity, pomp, and splendour, feed the pride and lusts of the human heart...
... and seduced others to join abominations.

That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank ... wine; Therefore the nations are deranged (Jer. Jer. 51:7). It was her who first made them drunk, but in their consistent rejection and their drunken stupor they returned for more which allowed her to continue serving up. 

made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of fornication” 
“They have been made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” The wine refers to the demonic doctrines, ideologies and concepts produced by this religious/political alliance.
In our day the worship of the queen of heaven is still present (a new face for an old concept) namely, one-world order through social reform and the mysticism of the New Age movement. This has to do with becoming like gods through New Age mysticism. So all racial distinctions, religious distinctions, and social distinctions must be removed. Everyone must learn to get along. Social reform and unification will be promoted as the greatest need.

“Drunkenness” in any form is an escape mechanism and the result of negative volition, indifference, apathy, and rejection. Because of the great negative volition that will exist at the time of the Tribulation, the world will be ripe for the wine of the harlot’s system. Lutzer and DeVries give us an excellent overview of the nature of this intoxicating wine.
“Having a golden cup” refers to an enticing manner of alluring men and nations. She invites men to drink of her deadly and stupefying wine by offering it in a golden cup, while arrayed in all her splendor.

those that dwell on the earth have lost their senses through pernicious and inebriating influence.  

and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine
of her fornication;
that is, the
earthly minded men, mere carnal persons, have been drawn into idolatrous practices by the allurements of the Catholic Church, such as [···] pleasures, [···] whereby they have been intoxicated as men with wine, and have been filled with a blind zeal for that church, and the false doctrines and worship of it, and with madness and fury against the true professors of religion.

Were made drunken (emethusthhsan). First aorist passive indicative of methusko, old verb (from methu), as in Luke 12:45 , here only in the Apocalypse. Cf. Isaiah 51:7 and pepotiken in Revelation 14:8 . See Revelation 18:3

Were drunken with the wine of fornication. The nations have received spirit and partaken of sins.

Have been made drunk with the wine of fornication - No wine can more thoroughly intoxicate those who drink it, than false zeal does the followers. 


On Rev 18:22 on the death of profane entertainment: to be posted aside
22. pipers--flute players. "Musicians," painters and sculptors, have desecrated their art to lend fascination to the sensuous worship of corrupt Christendom.
(1) No more music and entertainers (vs. 22a). The commercial and business world often seeks escape in the jive and jazz, the rock and roll of its music world in the various places of night entertainment. Consider the hotels, motels, bars, lounges, and other establishments where music is provided for the commercial world and its participants.
 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all;
There shall be no more mirth or joy; but heavy and lamentable things,
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers and
trumpeters
Which were for mirth, delight, and pleasure:
shall be heard no more at all in thee:
the words seem to be taken from ( Isaiah 24:8 ) ( Ezekiel 26:13 ) and may not only regard the loss of every thing that was delightful and pleasant to the ear in private houses, at festivals, and nuptials, and the like, but the ceasing of church music; there will be no more bells, nor organs, or any other instruments of music; no more chanters, and sub-chanters, choristers, singing men and boys:
And the voice of harpers. It is this third angel who declares the silence and desolation now.
And the voice of harpers - Players on stringed instruments. And musicians - Skilful singers in particular.And pipers - Who played on flutes, chiefly on mournful, whereas trumpeters played on joyful, occasions. Shall be heard no more; and no artificer - Arts of every kind, particularly music, sculpture, painting, and statuary, were there carried to their greatest height. (Not only) the arts that adorn life will cease forever.
The voice of harpers - Music was the entertainment of the rich and great;  
The voice (pone). Cf. Ezekiel 26:13 . Or "sound" as in 1 Corinthians 14:8 with salpigx (trumpet). For this song of judgment see Jeremiah 25:10 . Of harpers (kitharoidon). Old word (from kithara, harp, and oido, singer) as in Revelation 14:2 . Of minstrels (mousikon). Old word (from mousa, music), here only in N.T., one playing on musical instruments. Of flute-players (auleton). Old word (from auleo, to play on a flute, Matthew 11:17 , aulo, flute, 1 Corinthians 14:7 ), in N.T. only here and Matthew 9:23 . Of trumpeters (salpiston). Late form for the earlier salpigkth (from salpizw), here only in N.T. Shall be heard no more at all (ou me akousthe).
Isaiah 24:8 The mirth of tabrets ceaseth
Or of drums, and such like musical instruments, used at junketings and jovial feasts. So
the voice of harpers and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters, shall be heard no more therein, ( Revelation 18:22 ) : the noise of them that rejoice endeth;
the tumultuous noise of revelling persons at feasts and banquets, at marriages, and such like seasons; and so it is said, that 
the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all therein, or the joy expressed on such occasions by their friends and companions, ( Revelation 18:23 ) : the joy of the harp ceaseth;
an instrument of music used on joyful occasions; the voice of harpers is particularly mentioned in ( Revelation 18:22 ) .
.(2.) Music: The mirth of tabrets ceases, and the joy of the harp, which used to be at their feasts, ch. 5:12 All joy is darkened; there is not a pleasant look to be seen, nor has any one power to force a smile; all the mirth of the land is gone (v. 11); and, if it was that mirth which Solomon calls madness, there is no great loss of it.
 
Isaiah 24:8
8 The joyful timbrels are stilled, the noise of the revelers has stopped, the joyful harp is silent. 
24:8Tabrets - Which they used in their feasts. The noise - The word properly signifies a confused clamour, such as drunken men make.


 Verb used by John in REV 17 for the inhabitants of the earth:
εμεθυσθησαν (emethystesan)  verb - aorist passive indicative - third person
methuo  meth-oo'-o:  to drink to intoxication, i.e. get drunk -- drink well, make (be) drunk(-en).
The word used in REV is emethysthēsan

ἐμεθύσθησανhave been made drunk      

DEN NYA STAFFANSVISAN

DEN NYA STAFFANSVISAN

Sandra Dermark
(avsedd för min försvenskning av Othello, som dryckesvisa i stridsscenen)

Staffan var en stalledräng;
han vaktar sina fålar fem.

Den förste är som snö helt vit;
dess ryttare bär hatt och plit.

Den andre är som blod helt röd;
dess ryttare bär ond bråd död.

Den tredje är helt svart som kol;
den bär en våg med bruten skål.

Den fjärde fålen är giftgrön;
dess ryttare är underskön.

Den femte fålen är apelgrå;
den rider Staffan själv uppå.


ENGLISH VERSION (by the same author)

Stephen was a stablehand,
to guard five foals given command.

The first foal is, like new snow, white;
hat and sword on the rider's right.

The second foal's like fresh blood, red;
and in its wake heap violent dead.

The third foal is as black as slate;
it brings scales with a broken plate.

The fourth foal is a poison green;
its rider beautiful is seen.

The fifth foal is as grey as ash;
'tis on it Stephe himself will dash.