1. Amy Welborn has been posting photos of some of her collection of vintage holy cards. Several of these are in French, basic enough that I can read them fairly easily, through the magic of context, cognates, and two years of college-level language.
2. I would like to read more French again.
3. My senior directing project for Theater was a production of No Exit, for which I translated the script to avoid any copyright issues for which I had no funds. It was not the world's most literate translation -- I liked to stay close to the original to preserve the sense of flow of a foreign language -- but one thing I noticed quickly was that of the small number of translations I could find, none of them made use of Sartre's own phrasing, so essential in creating from the very first lines the ennui of Hell and the cyclical feel of the plot.
Garcin, il entre et regard autour de lui. -- Alors voila.Stuart Gilbert's translation starts off:
Le Garçon. -- Voila.
Garcin. -- C'est comme ça...
Le Garçon. -- C'est comme ça.
Garcin [enters, accompanied by the Room-Valet, and glances around him]: Hm! So here we are?You don't have to know French to see that Gilbert is padding here.
Valet: Yes, Mr. Garcin.
Garcin: And this is what it looks like?
4. Can anyone recommend a good book on prayer? I'm finding that giving up Facebook for Lent has not been difficult at all -- the hard part is in putting my extra time to good use, and in organizing that time so that it's concentrated for prayer. Turns out I'm not very good at praying in a sustained way. I go through my day, murmuring little prayers to myself or turning my thoughts to God , but although I do it frequently, I don't maintain it. Even at night, I start saying a decade of the rosary in bed, and either fall asleep or wander off mentally before I finish. I need to practice, to develop some staying power, but right now I treat prayer like I treat exercise: I think often of the treadmill in the basement, and I ponder all the benefits that I would derive from getting on it, and I could write for hours about it -- the one thing I don't do is go down consistently and use it.
5. I've been sitting on this one because Enbrethiliel has been reading her way through the Little House books, but since she's finally reached By The Shores of Silver Lake, I can post this: scarlet fever did not make Mary Ingalls go blind. A recent study in Pediatrics (behind a firewall) concludes that the most likely culprit was viral meningoencephalitis. According to Laura's letters, she describes Mary has having had a high fever and paralysis of one half of her face, but there was no evidence of brain damage that a bacterial infection would have been likely to inflict. Other experts dispute the meningoencephalitis diagnosis, but there is general agreement that the cause could not have been scarlet fever.
6. We're all agog here about the news that the Vestal Virgins may not have been wearing wigs after all. Janet Stephens, a Baltimore hair dresser, has deconstructed the hairstyle as presented on busts and in literature, and has managed to recreate the style on a model. Julia in particular is impressed, and has been trying to braid up her hair in the same way. History comes to life!
Melanie Bettinelli links to Janet Stephens's video demonstrating the Seni Crines, the hairstyle of the Vestals.
7. Here's a joke. Look, I laughed, okay?