Brief notes: BJs, Beanworld, Bodgers

Three quick things.
a) I finally got to read ‘The Platonic Blow’ by Auden. I’d heard about it for years, but never seen it. It lives up to the word of mouth (lols not intended) – dirty, not great. Solid, but then you wouldn’t expect anything less than technical and syntactic control from Auden.

ii. I only just heard that Larry Marder is back at work on Beanworld. This is incredibly cheering news; it’s one of my favourite comics ever. On a gushy & blathery blog I had in the day I said this about it:

Final word: there are acts of creation that you can understand. They exist within generic models; talent and craft are both evident; inspiration and skill both visible; though they can be challenging, you can see where they’ve come from, and what they’re doing. Then there’s stuff like this – much of the same applies (there’s no lack of craft here), but there’s something almost impossible to grasp about how these works came into the world. They’re strange, really not like anything else. They’re not necessarily better, but they are rarer – pay attention when you sniff these out.

That’s about right. Though ‘not necessarily better’ is wet, and I would rescind it.

Three: Mark E Smith, Wyndham Lewis, Evelyn Waugh, Jocelyn Brooke… this guy’s okay by me. Actually, I’m slightly jealous that he’s lighted on the Brotherhood of Ruralists as a subject. The shitness of Second Series Arden Shakespeare covers is a topic that requires urgent scholarly attention, yet academics remain all Q-this and F-that. What gives?

The Bell will not give in to anti-DRM pirates

Here’s the latest in our series of Classic poems in Rot-13.

‘Gur Eryvdhr’, by Wbua Qbaar.

Jura zl tenir vf oebxr hc ntnvar
Fbzr frpbaq turfg gb ragregnvar,
(Sbe tenirf unir yrnea’q gung jbzna-urnq
Gb or gb zber gura bar n Orq)
Naq ur gung qvtf vg, fcvrf
N oenpryrg bs oevtug unver nobhg gur obar,
Jvyy ur abg yrg’hf nybar,
Naq guvaxr gung gurer n ybivat pbhcyr yvrf,
Jub gubhtug gung guvf qrivpr zvtug or fbzr jnl
Gb znxr gurve fbhyrf, ng gur ynfg ohfvr qnl,
Zrrg ng guvf tenir, naq znxr n yvggyr fgnl?

Vs guvf snyy va n gvzr, be ynaq,
Jurer zvf-qribgvba qbgu pbzznaq,
Gura, ur gung qvttrf hf hc, jvyy oevat
Hf, gb gur Ovfubc, naq gur Xvat,
Gb znxr hf Eryvdhrf; gura
Gubh funyg or n Znel Zntqnyra, naq V
N fbzrguvat ryfr gurerol;
Nyy jbzra funyy nqber hf, naq fbzr zra;
Naq fvapr gung ng fhpu gvzr, zvenpyrf ner fbhtug,
V jbhyq unir gung ntr ol guvf cncre gnhtug
Jung zvenqrf jrr unezryrffr ybiref jebhtug.

Svefg jr ybi’q jryy naq snvgushyyl,
Lrg xarj abg jung jrr ybi’q, abe jul,
Qvssrerapr bs frk ab zber jrr xarj,
Gura bhe Thneqvna Natryyf qbr;
Pbzzvat naq tbvat, jrr
Crepunapr zvtug xvffr, ohg abg orgjrra gubfr zrnyrf;
Bhe unaqf ar’e gbhpug gur frnyrf,
Juvpu angher, vawhe’q ol yngr ynj, frgf serr:
Gurfr zvenpyrf jrr qvq; ohg abj nynf,
Nyy zrnfher, naq nyy ynathntr, V fubhyq cnffr,
Fubhyq V gryy jung n zvenpyr furr jnf.

I read TS Eliot’s classic analysis early:

gur zbfg cbjreshy rssrpg vf cebqhprq ol gur fhqqra pbagenfg bs nffbpvngvbaf bs ‘oevtug unve’ naq bs ‘ober’. Guvf gryrfpbcvat bs vzntrf naq zhygvcyvrq nffbpvngvbaf vf punenpgrevfgvp bs gur cuenfr bs fbzr bs gur qenzngvfgf bs gur crevbq juvpu Qbaar xarj: abg gb zragvba Funxrfcrner, vg vf serdhrag va Zvqqyrgba, Jrofgre, naq Gbhearhe, naq vf bar bs gur fbheprf bs gur ivgnyvgl bs gurve ynathntr.

And I wonder if his authority didn’t make this one of the cornerstones of my taste. Lovely sonics in that line of course: the alliterative run is most obvious: ‘oe’, ‘oe’, ‘no’, ‘ob’, but the run of distinct long vowels(oenpr, oevtug, unver, obhg, obar) is just a beautiful piece of work. Spectacular. Qbaar is such a show-off; but who else has had so much to show?

Old-school annotations used to suggest that ‘N fbzrguvat ryfr gurerol’ was a saint, I think? Surely he’s referring to the big man’s son? I’m not really up to speed on Qbaar studies.