Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Project status - burn him at the stake

I have let psalm 38
out of the gate
at PoC.

Not much writing done this past month, but since the first completion of my concordance a week ago, I have
  • reduced the number of distinct roots by about 30, (mostly just miscalculated root words that really were something else - there are a few more, but I pleaded the law of diminishing returns with my Spiritual Director. For the moment I have prevailed.)
  • sorted out several improvements to concordance in English, even such words as strengthpower, riches, wealth, force, victory, might and others that are completely variable in my memory of existing translations
  • and corrected 130+ spelling errors (I was typing a word at a time into a place with no spell checker. 130 errors in 41000 words is not too bad)
I hope not to be completely off the wall in rhythm and sound - although sometimes I feel tortured. And I will get criticism. I know it is piling up. You might be surprised at some of the changes I made (see psalm 84 and weep). Some of my favorite phrases down the drain! I can't stand it - no no no - burn him at the stake! I also am aware that some aspects of one-for-one translation are impossible (and I hope I don't attempt them). These are cases where the same word (not a set of homonyms) in one language is used with differing emphasis and meaning in the other language. (So when is the same the same?)

The real benefit of this exercise is that its marginal rigidity forces me to think carefully about word choices and may result in a less subjective gloss according to what I think God is like or what I think the poet ought to have said. But I assure you I write from what I think God is like. I don't define that much - and neither does the poet of the psalms.

As I noted in a comment elsewhere, some scholarship by itself is a bit like looking through a telescope from the wrong end. It makes everything look very distant. Such is not the case with the one with whom we contend and who has prevailed on our behalf even if we as Jacob prevail against him. (Incidentally, prevail and valiant and valour provide one of my ways out of the tangle of the many words that could gloss to strength.)

I made changes to the following 61 psalms in the last 24 hours and updated the concordance and my database as I was doing it. My 'latest' concordance is linked from the reading instructions on the right sidebar.  It's not very readable, but the differences stand out in an eyeball scan so one can decide if further combing of these tangled locks will be fruitful.

In book 1