Monday 20 February 2012

Semantic Domains

I have begun to work on a semantic dictionary of the Psalter. With four or five hours work I threw a bunch of words into 'categories' - somewhat randomly chosen.

There are now about 50 with varying counts of the 1400 or so roots and 19500 or so words of the Psalter. All in all, it's a bit arbitrary - but useful. I found a few anomalies and will find more. Good tool for refining one's thoughts.

The list is here under the title test of domains of interest, with the selected glosses - evolving...

Saturday 18 February 2012

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Project Status

Friends - where am I?  It has been over a month since I reported in on the big project: to produce the book that I wanted to have when I began learning the Hebrew of the Psalms. The project is continuing. I am working towards a book in shades of grey instead of colour. 450-500 pages is too much for colour printing.  So I have changed the way I display tables of keywords and added borders to allow easier perception on the vertical dimension of the apparatus.

Book 3 is submitted to one Hebrew academic expert who has already been a great help. Book 2 is submitted to another with a ready-red-pencil. I will be submitting the other books to some more of my PhD friends, but those who have volunteered are first philosophers and discourse analysts. I am short of Hebrew readers. Any of you academics who would like to may volunteer to review a draft of Book 4 or Book 5 (or everything). Book 1 is under the editing eye of my wife. She didn't exactly say she was enjoying it - but her criticism of gloss and grammar is important. Over the next 6 months, she plans to do 10 psalms a week - that's 260 altogether :).

I am targeting a publication date of March 2013, ready for a semi-planned trip - who knows with a printer in every location for instant book production.

Volunteer readers - you will enjoy the reading - guaranteed. Because the Hebrew and English are cheek by jowl and the apparatus is so revealing of the text, the units are really fun to look at. I have been reading other translations that do not have the Hebrew beside them. There is no comparison. For a close reading, the di-glot is a much happier experience, even if there is a mistake in form or judgment in the translation.

Here's why I need help:

  1. I am still only six years old 
  2. The notes need purging of my subjective comments (sometimes)
  3. Notes and translation were done over a five year period. Bayard's virtual library becomes a factor in my own memory. Sometimes the notes reflect an earlier stage of the translation.
  4. My translations contain blunders worth finding even for the humour. Bob - you can't say it that way!
I am not reading as much or blogging as much these days. I am experimenting with page layout - but last night at Bible study, I noted that my Hebrew reading is not as awkward as it was 6 months ago. After a while, maybe it improves by itself.

I am maintaining the text in database and private blog, thence to Word and PDF one psalm at a time. It's a juggling act, but the control over the changes that is possible with the database is a vital ingredient in staying sane.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Psalm 19 setting of the text finished

I have spent more than a month figuring out an accompaniment for my text of Psalm 19 - what a lesson in space and counterpoint! I had help as noted in the dedication on the pdf. David Stratkauskas, Organist and Choir Director from St John the Divine, Victoria BC gave me some lessons in composing accompaniment. Jerry Mcdonald and the St Barnabas choir have been through several versions with great patience and hopefulness. What a crew! The workshop experience was invaluable.

If you want to perform this music March 11 when Psalm 19 is part of the common lectionary (or whenever), please let me know. All you need is a unison choir, an organist, and someone to play the flute.

I tried embedding the mp3 but it started and restarted and there were no controls - its sound was everywhere in canon with itself. quite funny. Obviously it is not a trivial task to get the embed code right.

Trying again... added some html

hmmm - at least there's silence while I am typing.

  and removed it  Not sure of the above - so ...

trying again

Wednesday 1 February 2012

A 24 hour holiday and where am I?

We just spent a delightful night (a gift) in Sooke at the luxuriant Sooke Harbour House, called one of the 5 best boutique inns in the world (and why not!).  We began with a 28km bike ride to Otter point and back over the Sooke hills - O my those hills! Then we soaked in the personal hot-pool. We had the whole hotel to ourselves. I am surprised they were open with only 2 guests! And all the cookie jars were full - really, they have cookies in the hallway on every corner!

The world-class dining room was closed so we had supper at a local place, Markus's - very nice, black cod on potato salad, and seared scallops on risotto - both superb, and a bottle of Santa Rita Cab. Sauv.  But there was no need for coffee and desert since we could make decaf coffee in our room, and there were, after all, all those cookies!

Today, after a large continental breakfast (included in the hotel room), we walked the Whiffen spit and later we had a lunch of the leftover scones from breakfast on the beach at the Devonian Park.

Now, back on the computer, I am assessing my status on my 7 year project to translate the Psalms and to display all their recurring words. We are in year 6. I have spent the last month trying to remember how to write accompaniment for piano or organ for my setting of Psalm 19. It is more done than not done, I think. I intend to continue composing. It is a test for the translation and its rhythms. Maybe I will come up with a hit tune!

Over at Poetry of Christ, notes are appearing on the translations every day for the current group of psalms, the psalms of ascent, and every 3 or four days for the rest. Scheduled completion - last week of March 2012.  I continue to adjust the translations subject to critical feedback from several sources - on notes, on translation decisions and glosses, and on appropriate means of presentation of rhetorical criticism. (And I keep coming across articles that I really should reference.)

Nice to have a day off. I think I will take another one on Monday - off to Vancouver to see two of my sons.