Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Jour frabellais! Calleau! Callai!


Il brilgue: les roves lubricilleux
Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave,
Enmimes sont les gougebosquex,
Et le momerade horsgrave.

Garde-toi du Jaseroque, mon fils!
La guele qui mord; la griffe qui prend!
Garde-toi de l'oiseau Jube, evite
Le frumieux Band-a-prend.

Son glaive vorpal en main il va-
T-a la recherche du fauve manscant;
Puis arrive a l'arbre Te-Te,
Il y reste, refleshissant.

Pendant qu'il pense, tout uffuse
Le Jaseroque, a l'ouil flambant,
Vient siblant par le bois tullegais,
Et burbule en venant.

Un deux, un deux, par le milieu,
Le glaive vorpal fait pat-a-pan!
La bete defaite, avec sa tete,
Il rentre gallomphant.

As-tu tue, Le Jaseroque?
Viens a mon couer, fils raonnais!
O jour frabellais! Calleau! Callai!
Il cortule dans sa joie.

Il brilgue: les roves lubricilleux
Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave,
Enmimes sont les gougebosquex,
Et le momerade horsgrave.

Frank L. Warrin in the New Yorker, Jan 10 1931

Dearest Em (yes, I know I didn't put in all the accents- but can't figure out how to do that on blogger)

The Jabberwocky in French- naturellement- well how reductio-absurdum is that ma petite chou-fleur! 

Fancy translating nonsense words into French nonsense- however- 'tis interesting how it still seems like nonsense that sounds like something you somehow understand...

Well that my dear girl is a proper Red Queen way of looking at it- 'If you ca'n't think of the word in English, say it in French'- if ever I saw one!

I found it in the appendixes at the back of Florence Becker Lennon's 'Lewis Carroll' published in 1947.

Another nerdy Carrollian bit of absurdity in real-life gleaned from her was that in the province of Hunan in China in 1932, the Alice books were banned on account of the talking creatures...
 Says the warlord, 'Bears,loins and other beasts cannot use a human language, and to attribute to them such a power is an insult to the human race'. 

Gracious me, what did Lewis Carroll kick off with his tales?

Becker-Lennon states too that 'In spite of the numerous translations of Alice's Adventures and of Jabberwocky, the rest of Through the Looking-Glass has resisted all attempts at translation, perhaps because of the difficult word plays.

...Until 1966 Em, when Aliciae Per Speculum Transitus came out- translated into Latin by Mr C.L. Carruthers. I know its true- because I have a copy Em.

It sits happily next to Alicia in Terra Mirabili, and Fabula de Jemima Anate-Aquatica by Beatricis Potter don't you know. So GiGi is not alone in her nerdiness Emily- there are more out there...

In all tongue-in cheek seriousness my girl, it tickles me pink- that someone not only made the decision to translate nonsense into another language- even Latin, but took the trouble to do the work- and to publish it! Well, even if it's only for me- and they aren't being snapped up all over the world- thank-you Frank L.Warrin, and C.L Carruthers, and Jonathon Musgrave (Potter.)

Saluto vos absurdo!

A tout-a-l'heure Emily,

Your ever-loving Grand-Mother GiGius xxxx

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