Lit Literature member interviews

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Point Given, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Bring on the Gettysburg quiz!
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  2. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Yes, 7, and "I'm Blue."
  3. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    You forgot why. :p
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  4. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    A valiant effort, @GrandAdmiralJello, but no cigar, I'm afraid (though I did think you, of all people, might have slightly more chance of having an answer for at least one of those).

    And, as Trak rightly points out, you forgot the "why." ;)

    Edit: Now, does anyone out there have any actual questions for me? :p
    Last edited by Findswoman, Jun 24, 2014
  5. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    What is your favorite Baroque opera and why?
  6. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    What was your favorite cartoon (or cartoons) growing up? Any cartoons you watch currently?

    What were your favorite video games growing up? Any you play currently?
  7. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4

    Glad you asked. :D That would be L'Orfeo (1607) by Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), which is one of the first-ever operas. And for several reasons: it's full of poignant, lyrical passages (that are nevertheless not what would call "hummable" in the modern sense, but that's all right because they're not modern); it features a very wide range of instrumental colors for the time, with specific groups of instruments used for different characters or settings (e.g., trombones in the underworld scenes because they're low-pitched); and there's a lot of room for both the singers and the instrumentalists to improvise and ornament their parts (as indeed in almost all late Renaissance and early baroque music). Also, the opera is based on the myth of Orpheus and Euridice, which is not only a very good story and one of my favorite mythological stories.

    Here's a clip of the scene where Orpheus is trying to gain access to Hades, which itself features several very cool instrumental solos alternating with the singing (don't mind this particular staging, which has a weird sort of ancient-Roman-B-movie-cum-Tim Burton-cum-steampunk thing going for it):



    Growing up it was She-Ra, hands down. I had almost all the dolls (all right, action figures—same difference), and they were among my favorite playthings in my early elementary school years. I'm afraid I don't really watch any now, mainly because of lack of time, and we don't own a TV.


    I never owned any video game systems as a kid, but I always played them with great gusto whenever I could at friends' houses, and my favorites were pretty basic: Super Mario Brothers 1 through 3 and the first Legend of Zelda. Again, I don't play many video games now; we had a Game Boy Advance and a DS a few years back, and I played the Zelda games they released for those, but we sold the Advance and we may have sold the DS. When I do play any games these days, it's on the computer rather than on a console; see here on recent PC games I've played and enjoyed.
    Last edited by Findswoman, Jun 24, 2014
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  8. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    It's always funny to me how opera handles classical themes, but always uses contemporary names and the like. I bet the costuming at the time was also contemporary.

    Don't think I've seen any Baroque opera myself. At least, as far as I know. I'm cultured enough to have seen quite a few operas, but apparently not enough to know a damn thing about the technique or artistic history behind them.
  9. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    You mean as in calling the character by the Italian form of his name, "Orfeo"? That's not really any different from the Anglicized spellings and pronunciations we use for classical personages, mythological and otherwise (Mercury, Ovid, Virgil, etc.). You're right that a lot of times the staging was contemporary at the time, but heck, that's often the case with modern opera staging. Right around the time of the First Gulf War I remember going to a performance of one of the more obscure Mozart operas where everyone was wearing modern Middle Eastern attire and brandishing AK-47s, and my 12-or-so-year-old brain found it pretty cool. :D

    Incidentally, I know a very distinguished baroque opera scholar at Princeton who's got a book forthcoming on mythological themes (Ovidian ones, to be precise) in seventeenth-century opera. (Her CV is here; search for "Animating Ovid").

    What operas have you seen, out of curiosity? Basically Handel and earlier count as baroque for opera.
  10. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Nov 28, 2000
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    Oh, I know -- Anglicization is also a peeve of mine, though it's on the decline for Greek names in works in translation (still very common for Roman ones). I don't so much mind Anglicization in the scholarly or the referential sense, it's just weird in the actual text.

    As for modern opera staging, nothing beats the time I saw Die Walkure performed with lightsabers :p

    Anyway, opera list:

    Die Walkure
    Jenufa
    Sampson and Delilah
    L'elisir d'amore
    Rigoletto
    Turandot

    ...and I'm missing one. I always forget one. Bah.
  11. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Yeah, I hate Anglicization. Like Marcus Antonius is so damn hard to say, we've just got to get rid of those -uses. It's so arbitrary and haphazard too. Just give us the person's actual name, please.
  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    What do you mean arbitrary? We totally go around talking about "Gay Jul Cae" ... oh wait.
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  13. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Pompeius? That's a whole extra syllable! And those endings changed when you declined them, just chop them off!
  14. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    To be fair though, basically all Romance languages got bored of declension and just used the ablative. stupid barbarian fools.

    Basically the Romance languages are to Latin as GoT is to ASOIAF. :p
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Jun 24, 2014
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  15. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    But then the stupid barbarian fools in Finland kept using the "uses". So much so that many first names used in Harry Potter were changed to proper spelling (Horace - Horatio) since the translator felt that the wizards are closer to Latin (or at least pig-Latin) than Muggles.

    But the written Finnish was created as late as 1500's. Most of it had to be invented for the Bible could be translated. For a long time lions were called "noble deer" because the translator had no idea what a lion was.
    Gamiel likes this.
  16. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    And suddenly, the Bible became ten times more interesting with Noble Deer.
  17. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Show Spoiler
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  18. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Enh. @GrandAdmiralJello and @Havac, I do see your points; I'm not a classicist, so I don't know all the issues behind this, but honsetly that kind of Anglicization (or Italianization, or Germanization, or whatever) has never bothered me particularly. There usually are valid linguistic/philological reasons for transformations of that kind, and one often can use them to often trace the history of a particular name or term within a language. For example, most of the familiar anglicized forms of names from the Hebrew Bible (to give an example I know somewhat better) come to English via (a) early Hebrew pronunciation (some of which still remains in Samaritan Hebrew), which then was (b) transliterated or adapted into Greek and finally (c) underwent the vowel shifts that happened at various stages of the development of modern English. And that's fine with me: even though "Marcus Antonius" is not that much longer or harder to say than "Mark Antony," "Isaac" is a lot easier to say in an Anglophone context than "Yitzḥak"! (The is pronounced [x] in the pronunciation system I learned, but in others it can be an unvoiced pharyngeal fricative instead.)

    Anyway, just my two obols on the subject. ;)
    Last edited by Findswoman, Jun 25, 2014
  19. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I, for one, love those [x]-type pronunciations where you sound like you're working up the world's biggest loogie while saying "chutzpah." Gives speaking more character. It also makes singing "O Tannenbaum" more fun when I sound like a mad scientist.
  20. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Oh, I love [x] too, whether in Hebrew, German, Spanish, or anywhere else. It's just that [tsx] combination is easier for me when I'm reading Hebrew than when I'm speaking English, so I'm very glad anglicizations like "Isaac" exist. :)
  21. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Now I'm sitting here saying "Yitzhak" over and over and producing a lot of phlegm.
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  22. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Another good Hebrew name for coughing up phlegm is Yeḥezk'el (Ezekiel).
  23. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    If you are still interested so am I right now the subject of the EUC Interview Thread
  24. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Thanks for the link, @Gamiel. I shall follow that with great interest, and when they open the floor to questions from the adoring public, you can be sure I'll be there. ;)

    OK, I hope the mods won't object to my asking this, but... c'mon, aren't there any more questions for me? I feel awfully lonely and unloved... :( :p
  25. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    What culture, real or fictional, would you like to see used as inspiration for the cloting of the non-findsmen gands?