Art Bob Assorted Bob Books D.C. Bob


This morning’s Wall Street Journal featured an article by Stephen Mitchell detailing the process he went through translating Homer’s Iliad. In addition to offering a fascinating glimpse into the art of translating, Mitchell provides a great tip for all writers: read your work aloud and listen.

Persians, Seven against Thebes, and Suppliants, Aeschylus, translated by Aaron PoochigianThe music of the spoken word was clear on Thursday night, when Lara and I had the pleasure of attending a reading by translator/poet Aaron Poochigian.

Poochigian reminded me of an Armenian Keith Moon minus the booze, the barbiturates and the exploding drums. What’s left, you ask? Manic passion punctuated by arching eyebrows and a mischievous grin. I’d never heard of Poochigian but I exited the reading a fan. His translations of Sappho and Aeschylus were sublime. His poetry was solid, too.

It’s also worth noting that the host of the reading, Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center here in the District, was first class. The students, alumni and profs in attendance were smart, engaging folks and the facility itself is a gem. I look forward to attending their next poetry event.

Assorted Bob Books D.C. Bob

Imagine a world with no Macbeth

The First FolioThe New York Times recently had a good story on the Folger Library’sFame, Fortune & Theft: The Shakespeare First Folio.” In addition to prompting me to add the exhibit to my to-do list, the story made my head spin with the following paragraph:

“If it weren’t for the First Folio, there would be no extant copies of ‘The Tempest,’ ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘Twelfth Night’ ‘As You Like It’ or ‘The Winter’s Tale.’ All the world wouldn’t be a stage; no countrymen would lend anyone their ears; and life wouldn’t be a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.”

Wow. Imagine the cultural gap we would have suffered had the First Folio not been published and preserved. And then start wondering what cultural gems were lost when they weren’t afforded the same treatment …

Assorted Bob Books

NYTimes: Harold Bloom: An Uncommon Reader

NYTimes: Harold Bloom: An Uncommon Reader