A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Classical Gas

Listening to Aretha sing "God Save the Queen" -- uh, I mean "America", brought back musty memories of high school Latin class, where we learned to sing:

Te cano, Patria,
candida, libera;
te referet
portus et exulum
et tumulus senum;
libera montium
vox resonet.

Because nobody studies Latin anymore, I guess I should explain that this is a rather free translation of "My country, 'tis of thee" etc., made by a Latin teacher named George D. Kellogg. I didn't remember all the lyrics, so I Googled it, which took me to some pretty obscure Web sites. (It's not on Wikipedia, although the Latin translation of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" -- "Mica, Mica Parva Stella" -- is.)


Aleta said...

Charles, only you would remember the Latin lyrics to "America." Diane Feinstein couldn't even remember the title.

Charles Matthews said...

But I neglected to mention The Hat, which Jon Carroll did so wonderfully today at http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/carroll/