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.

Another Limerick

So when Aeschylus guided his Pen

Or whatever they used way back Then,

All the choir was Aquiver

For the man could Deliver

Which who did which what which way When.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
See me after school. There's a chance you'd benefit from an introduction to June Casagrande's Mortal Syntax.
Friday, 30 June 2017 18:05
Stephen Evans
"Old men are always young enough to learn." Aeschylus
Friday, 30 June 2017 20:57
611 Hits
2 Comments

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 14:00
Stephen Evans
I wrote it some time ago but it did seem strangely appropriate.
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 03:19
1275 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

 

 

 

544 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 12:40
Stephen Evans
Never have so many written so much about so little.
Thursday, 25 May 2017 14:29
781 Hits
2 Comments

Latest Comments

Ken Hartke Telephone Nostalgia
17 January 2019
I have never liked using the telephone. Too often it brought bad news and holds some of my most pain...
Rosy Cole A New Life
17 January 2019
How to gain a whole new perspective on the life lived. That journey in itself would be full of surpr...
Rosy Cole Telephone Nostalgia
17 January 2019
'Nostalgia' is, perhaps, the operative word here. Time has stolen those days. I do wonder whether th...
Stephen Evans Telephone Nostalgia
16 January 2019
I actually dread phone conversations - they seem to me the worst of both worlds. You don't have time...
Katherine Gregor New Year Resolutions?
08 January 2019
Oh, my goodness, yes. Absolutely. May the New Year bring you as much "You time" as you need, Rosy!

Latest Blogs

It suddenly occurs to me that it's been months since anybody called our landline.  Except for my mother, of course.  Day after day, when I check the p...
I'm Ivan Musto and today was a strange first for me as I celebrated a near-solitary birthday, my 90th - a milestone, I guess. Let me explain the surro...
Dublin, Ireland Early morning, Thursday 4th February 1960   We’re alone together. Mother and I are sitting at the kitchen window. It’s chilly yet...
I've binned my 2018 New Year's resolutions. Unopened.  They were past their use-by date.  Somehow, they ended up being kicked under the bed or falling...
My new novel The Isand of Always comes out today. It's a sequel to, or perhaps more an extension of, The Marriage of True Minds, whch was published ab...