Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Andreas re-lineation is complete

I have finally finished re-lineating and revising Andreas. The line breaks should feel more comfortable and less breath-stretching now, with a concomitant increase in the energy of the translation. Let me know how it works for you.

I have also considered and reconsidered a tough word choice at line 1478-81 (the first lines of section IX):

Hwæt, ic hwile nu haliges lare,
leoð-giddinga, lof þæs þe worhte,
wordum wemde

Listen, I have defamed [proclaimed?] for a while now the teaching of the saint, the praise of what he achieved, in the words of poetic songs

There is an untranslatable pun possible between weman “to announce, persuade, entice” and wemman “to mar, spot, spoil" and "to defile, besmirch” (both are weak verbs and may look the same in the preterite). Both of the translations I rely upon translate it as weman: Kennedy rendering it as “singing” and Bradley as “proclaiming.” The Bosworth Toller Dictionary, however, translates this line
as “I have not given a good account of the saint," and suggests a definition for the phrase wordum wemman "to reproach, blame."

The line is repeated from line 740, where it is used to describe the animated statue speaking. There the pun also works, but not so urgently: it could mean either "proclaiming [to them] in words" or "reproaching [them] ('them' being the priests of the Temple at Jerusalem).

My preference is to go with the unusual, but defensible "defamed" in line 1480—it becomes then a humility topos that fits in with the author's need to re-introduce himself in direct address and begins his apologetic statement. What do you think? Can I keep it as "defamed" or should it be "proclaimed?" I'd like to hear from you on this?

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