Stephen Evans

Follow author Add as friend Message author Subscribe to updates from author Subscribe via RSS
Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey. http://www.amazon.com/Transcendental-Journey-Stephen-Evans-ebook/dp/B00IHPLCB6

Something Didn’t Happen

Once upon a time
In a distant land
Something didn’t happen
And everyone was glad.

Once upon a time
Neither here nor there
Something didn’t happen
But nobody knew where.

Once upon a time
Anywhere but here
Something didn’t happen
And someone cried a tear.

Tags:
Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
The story of modern News media. This just about sums it up http://www.pilgrimrose.com/index.php/33-thoughts-on-the-wing/813-conf... Read More
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 13:00
Stephen Evans
I wrote it some time ago but it did seem strangely appropriate.
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 02:19
71 Hits
2 Comments

Worth Listening

"United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do -- for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder."

John F. Kennedy (Born May 29, 1917) Inaugural Address

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkinaugural.htm

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1841228_1841749_1841745,00.html

 

 

 

97 Hits
0 Comments

Stephen’s Way: An American Reads Proust

I like to read and I’m not put usually off by difficult books. I have read War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, much of Faulkner, most of Joyce. But there are a few books that I have never been able to finish, and so far as I can tell they have nothing in common.

The first is Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstader. It came out a few years after I graduated and was a combination of two things that for me (and possibly only for me) are inseparably linked: philosophy and comedy. I have never been able to read the entire book, mostly because at least once each page I have to stop and think, and once my brain is so activated it seldom circles back to the beginning point. I was lucky if I remembered to mark my place.

The second book is The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. I started this one based on the recommendation of Joseph Campbell, who ranked Mann with James Joyce as the great mytho-centric writers of the Twentieth century. With Mann, you have some choices. I picked The Magic Mountain because Death in Venice was too short, Buddenbrooks (reputedly his masterpiece) too long, so The Magic Mountain seemed just right. Plus it had magic in the title, though as I discovered there were no elves or wizards, at least not as far as I got. I was enjoying The Magic Mountain despite its fantasy-barren nature, but life intervened, the book was packed away, and to date it has not been found. Though I did get one nice poem out it. Still I hope to find my copy one day and begin again.

The third book is  Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, the initial volume in Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, which is sometimes poetically translated as Remembrance of Things Past and oddly translated as In Search of Lost Time, which sounds like a story about someone who couldn't find their watch. Proust was a contemporary of both Joyce and Mann. Proust and Joyce met once in a famous encounter where each complained about his health and excused himself (true writerish behavior).

I had a copy of Remembrance of Things Past that somehow resurfaced, which I took as a sign that I should try again. Previously I had made it to the scene with the tea and madeleine, and then gave up, possibly because it made me hungry, though more likely because I felt I had done my duty. The translation I had was the original English translation by C. K. Scott Moncrief, which was regarded as the standard. But after a few pages of this, I decided to switch to a later translation by Lydia Davis. I don’t know which is more Proustean, but Ms. Davis work was slightly livelier and I stuck with it.

In theory I could read it in French. I took eight years of French and can speak but not really pronounce several words at least. I suspect the book is better in the original, and I have the same suspicion about Mann in German and Dante in Italian and Homer in Greek. But for now, and likely forever, I will have to rely on the wonderful work of translators, who so remarkably devote years of their lives to other people’s words.

At this reporting, I am 150 pages into Swann’s Way and I am pretty sure that other than tea and madeleines nothing has happened. But I must say it is not happening marvelously and I can’t wait to see what doesn’t happen next.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
With your bent for breviloquence, it's surprising you passed up Death in Venice for The Magic Mountain (which I couldn't get on wi... Read More
Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:40
Stephen Evans
Never have so many written so much about so little.
Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:29
165 Hits
2 Comments

On Rolls the Old World

"The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all countries and times. The war rages not only in battle-fields, in national councils, and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man's bosom with opposing advantages every hour. On rolls the old world meantime, and now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1841

 

170 Hits
0 Comments

Latest Comments

Ashen The Delight of Hand-Writing
19 June 2017
Lovely piece of writing ☼ Reminds me to befriend my fountain pen again. I wrote the first 3 chapters...
Stephen Evans Something Didn’t Happen
14 June 2017
I wrote it some time ago but it did seem strangely appropriate.
Rosy Cole Something Didn’t Happen
13 June 2017
The story of modern News media. This just about sums it up http://www.pilgrimrose.com/index.php/33-t...
Rosy Cole Election Result
12 June 2017
I suspect what we find most uncomfortable is that our Government leaders force us to take a good har...
Nicholas Mackey Election Result
10 June 2017
How can one take this political charade with any degree of seriousness? Many thanks for commenting, ...

Latest Blogs

Choppy waters foam at their tips in curls of white, churning waves into shore as a milkshake blending in the darkest, richest chocolate. They break ...
Photos of beautiful baby Caroline, our girst great grandaughter are all over our house. Vickie is again helping Erin today during this difficult time....
I feel a sense of calm within.   After many days of unraveling events, serenity has finally emerged. Sometimes in the thick of it all, I wonder if ...
Once upon a time In a distant land Something didn’t happen And everyone was glad. Once upon a time Neither here nor there Something didn’t happen But...
What a sacroscrotilogenous and idiopatheticorniphrastic election result! It's incredularious and unacceptabilioso to the point of confududilinarianism...