Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Job of Uz - and old blog posts

I was looking at the 125 old posts I did on my Sufficiency blog on Job in 2009-10. Astonishing - I seem not to have been in a hurry in those days. Even if I might disagree with my result today, the work I did was more complete than I might have thought. Details of the structure, now in my head so I don't think about it so consciously, details on relationships between chapters before I had developed the software to do such things automatically, details on character and words - such perseverance! Here's a snippet or two.

While on the beach at Parksville:
Is it reasonable to translate Job a second time? To move through the text without quite so much feeling about, and see if there is any of my mother tongue left in me? I think I might. I must I feel read it again in the original for I am sure I missed most things in spite of my slow toiling on every word and phrase. What if it were possible for a man to say it again. To know that without the misery -though misery is never far - it might be possible to reveal the hope that lies in this monumental tale.
And I should remember my own advice:
There are many difficulties in an attempt at concordant translation. The first is choosing a word whose meaning stretches to metaphor - this is because it is 'obvious' that words play this role in the source language. So they must also in some parallel respect play similarly in the target language. The second is finding a sufficient number of possible glosses when the source language has synonyms and the target language does not. Inventing new words may be a requirement.
These thoughts arise over my current usage of 'shine', etc in English and the many words in Hebrew used in Job that can be glossed as shine. Two synonyms occur to me - enlighten for one possible word and flash - not so sure of this one since I already used it for two other words as this table will show. Flash leads to a possible flame but I have used enflame in parallel to flash already.
Interestingly enough - the AV translators frequently did not attempt concordance and the translation suffers as a result. The clear link, for instance, from boil in Job 2:7 to the framed botch in Deuteronomy 28:27, 35 is thus lost for English readers. Equally the playful Leviathan with his eyes shining as the eyelids of dawn is lost for English between Job 3 and 41. So although complete concord is impossible between the two languages, it is very desirable to capture the frames, threads, metaphors, and overall sonic or sequential concord where possible.
I must not be in a hurry - let the pot stew and let other things be read interleaved. Of course Deuteronomy is a key text for Job. Echoes of chapter 28 are heard throughout - that is why the frame story is so clearly part of the whole. Also there are echoes of Genesis 1 to 3 - more than echoes. Adam doesn't hide - he dissembles, he camouflages himself. He is transparent. As are we all. So maybe some Torah is needed as a bit of light on this dark book. Maybe a verse or two from the prophets too.