Jun 8, 2015

The view yesterday evening around 21:20 hours...

(scroll down a bit)

The Valais in north-western perspective

...and the view now of...

Athens, 416 BC 

...our view, because we are working on a comic strip version of Plato's Symposium, and this beautiful picture by Leo v. Klenze would provide the perfect opening shot. I'm trying to blend three translations, Percy Shelley's, Benjamin Jowett's, and Seth Bernadete's, whittling them down to 10% or less of their original length so that the result fits into the balloons and captions of a 48 page graphic book.

Anything to show for? Well, here are three lines from Aristophanes' speech---widely regarded as the best that the great stylist Plato has ever written qua style (in Attic Greek, that is)---just three lines:

"As boys they lie down with men, and it is they who---being more manly---carry the promise of future excellence. Some people say those boys are shameless, but that’s nonsense. They are driven by manliness, not shamelessness---the proof being that all successful politicians come from their ranks." 

(Lol) Okay, right, this is condensed. Here's for example the original text by Jowett, the Oxford classicist:

But they who are a section of the male follow the male, and while they are young, being slices of the original man, they hang about men and embrace them, and they are themselves the best of boys and youths, because they have the most manly nature. Some indeed assert that they are shameless, but this is not true; for they do not act thus from any want of shame, but because they are valiant and manly, and have a manly countenance, and they embrace that which is like them. And these when they grow up become our statesmen, and these only, which is a great proof of the truth of what I am saving.  
You say. Interesting, isn't it. Aristophanes, the ruthless comedian, espousing a positive view of the political class.

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