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Ecphrasis

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Ecphrasis

Postby auctor » Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:35 pm

An invective distich addressed to Alexander G Bell from Ambrose Bierce.

[face=SPIonic]
w) fi/le, sou= de kako/j kerdw=n do/loj a)/tta kaqai=rei
w(/j a(/ katei=kon e)kei= touj adi/kouj fle/donaj.
[/face]
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Postby annis » Tue Jun 14, 2005 1:11 am

Ok, I'm stumped. What is [face=spionic]katei=kon[/face]?
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Postby auctor » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:14 am

[face=SPIonic]kat-exw[/face] 3rd pl. imp.

to hold, keep back, withhold,
to check, restrain, bridle

or, more precisely in this context,
to keep <someone> at a distance
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Postby auctor » Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:35 am

Sorry about the terseness of yesterday's post - hastily scribbled before heading off to London for a luncheon, it was after 11pm before I returned by which time I was neither of a mind nor state to respond properly, so here goes...

A literal translation of mine,

My friend, your evil contrivance takes away some of the advantages which regularly used to keep obstinate* babblers at bay.

The 'ho:s' starting the first hemiepes, I'm afraid, is little more than a filler.
*any of the 'adikos' defs are suitable here.

and Ambrose Bierce's original from his The Devil's Dictionary

Telephone: An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.

Hope that clears up muddy waters.
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Postby annis » Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:41 am

auctor wrote:[face=SPIonic]kat-exw[/face]


That's an interesting typo in the distich. You use the reconstructed pronunciation?

This isn't really ecphrasis. If you were to desribe the appearance, sound, use, etc. of the device, then it would be. It's kind of a strange genre.

Hmm. Bierce is like Theophrastus in the small. Other definitions might make for fun translations.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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