Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sometimes Fun, Sometimes Not

Dear Joan,

They tell me that one should never try to learn Spanish and Italian at the same time. The fact that they are so alike of course helps one a bit over the meanings of words (but Latin would help you almost equally for both) but it makes a confusion in one's mind about grammar and idioms--in the end one makes a horrid soup out of both. I don't know Spanish, but I know there are lovely things in Italian to read. You'll like Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso. By the way good easy Latin reading to keep one's Latin up with is the New Testament in Latin. Any Roman Catholic bookshop will have one: say you want a copy of the "Vulgate New Testament." Acts goes specially well in Latin.

I don't think being good always goes with having fun: a martyr being tortured by Nero, or a resistance movement man refusing to give away his friends when tortured by the Germans, were being good but not having fun. And even in ordinary life there are things that would be fun to me but I musn't do them because they would spoil other people's fun. But of course you are quite right if you mean that giving up fun for no reason except that you think it's "good" to give it up, is all nonsense...A perfect man would never act from sense of duty; he'd always want the right thing more than the wrong one.
~C.S. Lewis, Letters to Children, (Letter to Joan _____, July 18, 1957)

Cute Pic of the Day: Courage

Absolutely Amazing Photography: Paul Schillinger <--you need to see this site, it is breathtaking!

7 Comment(s):

At Thu Oct 21, 07:46:00 PM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

Eh-heh, easy Latin... I could use that right now. **Kills Cicero.** BTW, the Vulgate New Testament had errors in it when it was first translated from Hebrew to Latin, but, hey, it's been a couple of thousand years since it was first published so I imagine it's been corrected by now.

This passage is just so interesting. I think it's something that we all often realize but can't put into words nearly as well.

At Thu Oct 21, 08:09:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

"A perfect man would never act from sense of duty; he'd always want the right thing more than the wrong one."

And this is where I realize just how very, very far from perfect I am, because I can almost invariably be counted on wanting to do the wrong thing...*sigh*

At Thu Oct 21, 11:40:00 PM EST, Blogger Bob said...

Was the New Testament written in Hebrew? I would have thought that much of it was written in Greek or Aramaic in the original. The Old Testament would certainly have been Hebrew, but since most of the New Testament was written to various Greek churches, I would have thought those letters would have been in Greek.

At Fri Oct 22, 12:07:00 AM EST, Blogger Joelle said...

You're right, the NT was written mostly in Greek and a book/or a couple books in Aramaic. I don't remember exactly which books are in Aramaic, but I can find out if anyones interested.

At Fri Oct 22, 12:14:00 AM EST, Blogger Joelle said...

Oh...and a side note...I'm 99% sure (can't find it in my notes at the moment) that the early church used to Septuagent (Greek translation of the original Hebrew OT) when they studied the OT.

At Fri Oct 22, 07:02:00 AM EST, Blogger Sandicomm said...

I have to check my notes from Latin, but I know we were talking about the Vulgate in Latin. I remember my teacher saying that the Old Testament had been badly translated and this translation was accepted for years. For example, apparently, the Hebre word for halo is also the same word for horn and that's why Michelangelo's Moses ( has horns. Just a fun fact.

But I have to check about the New Testament. I'm sure it was written in Greek; it's just the first thing I remembered when the Vulgate was mentioned was Moses with horns.

At Fri Oct 22, 07:10:00 AM EST, Blogger Bob said...

I can see the Michelangelo story since Moses is in the OT, but why would the NT be translated from Greek to Hebrew to Latin? Neh. I don't read Greek, Hebrew or Latin, so I suppose I shouldn't worry too much, yeah?


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