Thursday, 31 January 2013

Faerie Queene, Book I: Redcrosse and Una

I had never crossed my mind that reading Faerie Queene would be such a journey. I even had no idea that it would be so long. Not only the length of it, the language of the book is very strange to me, especially the spelling. I by no means dislike the book, though. It's a beautiful and interesting book, written in the form of stanzas and I sense the eagerness of the author to imitate the fine example of Homer and Virgil of old. So, what's the first book all about?

It tells a story of Knight Redcrosse, a knight of Queen Gloriana of Fairy Land, who goes in a journey to defeat a dragon and take back a kingdom from it. In his journey he is accompanied by a beautiful and virtuous lady, Una, the princess of the kingdom mentioned above. On his way, however, both of them have to face different challenges before they at last find the dragon and kill it. In fact, killing the dragon is a matter of one “canto”, while the difficulties of the journey occupy the ten cantos before.

The difficulties mentioned include the three brothers Sansfoy, Sansloy and Sansjoy, the wicked sorcerer Archimago and also the witch Duessa. Another problem they have to face is guilt, mainly in Redcrosse's self, for going with Duessa to the House of Pride and being misled by her before, and for other sins he has committed. This feeling becomes manifest when Redcrosse meets Despair, who reasons that it's better to die now than adding more sin while one is living. Redcrosse falls into despair and even persuaded to kill himself.

Una, knowing what happens, takes the knight to the House of Holiness, where the knight is given a chance to repent and where his sins are washed away. In the House of Holiness dwell Fidelia, Charissa, Speranza, and many others who symbolise the powers that can “heal” people from despair.

And yet through the journey, Redcrosse and Una find friends of many kinds, who help them to complete their journey. For example, when Una is left alone by Redcrosse, she meets a lion who then protects her along her journey, although sadly the lion is later killed trying to protect Una. They also meet King Arthur, who helps Una to free her knight from the Duessa. The people from House of Holiness also prove to be their friends. With such helps along the journey, Redcrosse and Una can at last find the dragon and defeat him. 

Una and the Lion

Among other things, I find the symbolization in Faerie Queene most interesting. The poem was made for the same purpose as when Virgil created Aeneid. Spencer wanted to “deify” Queen Elizabeth, portrayed there as the great Fairy Queen. But apart from that, he had another thing in mind. It's actually about Protestantism in England versus Catholicism. Therefore we see the Knight of Redcrosse, symbolising Holiness, and Una, symbolising Truth, has to deal with Archimago (symbolising the use of images), for example. Thus we also have the three brothers Sansfoy (faithlessness), Sansloy (disloyalty), and Sansjoy (joylessness) as enemies of Holiness and Truth. We also have the personification of Despair, that leads people, even Holy ones, to Death.

Despite my own opinion about all these, I find the way Spencer tries to insert these elements into the story as quite interesting. One complain though: the language. This book is certainly not one for light reading. Anyway, I can't wait to read more of Faerie Queene

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

March 2013: Robinson Crusoe Readalong

As promised, I will hold a readalong for the Classics Club in March. The book for this readalong is Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. I've been very eager to read this. Now to make things more interesting, I'd be happy if there are people who would like to join me and read this together.

What do you have to do:
  1. Sign up. Just sign up in the linky below and copy the button if you like. If you join a huge amount of events and have no space left for the button, don't worry. You don't have to put the button in your blog as long as you have signed up.
  2. Read the book. Naturally, you need to read it, else you won't be able to join the event. Haha. 
  3. Make a review. Review can be long or short according to your taste. It can be spoiler-free or spoiler-full, again, it's up to you. I will post a Master Post for the event to post the reviews by the end of the event.
  4. Answer the questions. I will make a set of questions and I hope you will answer them. Those questions will ask mainly about your experience while reading the book. It won't be a test, don't worry.

That's all from me. Please join and enjoy~

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Books into Screen: Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)

I watched this one quite in a hurry and a was a bit forced to do so, because the end of January is approaching and I haven't written a post for the Let's Read Play Monthly Meme. Excellent. So here I am, in the middle of the night, writing.

Anyway. Cyrano de Bergerac film is strongly based on a play of the same title by Edmond Rostand, a French playwright. I said “strongly” because it is indeed strongly based on the play. Many adaptations love to make a little twist here and there, but this film doesn't do much of that thing.

Confession: I don't speak French. It means I missed a lot of good jokes in the film, no matter how brilliant the English subtitle is. But I love Gerard Depardieu's interpretation of the role. It's simply wonderful. Cyrano is strong, brave, brilliant, man of words and action, but he's also shy and timid when it comes to the matter of love. He fears rejection. Gerard is just perfect for the role, very much alike both in appearance and actions as the one I imagined when I read the play.

Roxane is a bit too calm. I wish she would be a little more cheerful, but in the film she is pretty quiet and passive. Her eyes don't show much intelligent either. She is a bit dull for my taste. In the play, I imagine her as a smart witty lady who wants love from somebody better than her in words. Roxane in the film is good, but not as amazing as Gerard, obviously.

Now, Christian. Vincent Perez did a great job with the role. His Christian is a dashing, handsome, brave, yet not-so-good-with-words fellow who falls in love with the beautiful Roxane. His acting is commendable and his relationship with Bergerac so natural.

I won't comment much on the story though. As I said before, it's just as it is in the play. Nothing to complain there. But I must say that at times the film looks somewhat dull to me. I don't know if it's because it's old, or because it strictly follows the play. Not every play is good when it's brought to film instead of stage, won't you agree?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Weekend Quote #29

“True Loues are ofte[n] sown, but seldom grow on ground.”

From Edmund Spencer's epic poem, Faerie Queene. I won't pretend I truly understand the meaning, and it may mean a lot of things as well, but I will just explain what it means for me.

There are times when we love truly and sincerely, and yet the person we love just don't feel the same way. It's like seeds that are sown in the ground, but don't grow. So the lady who says this sentence perhaps means that people seldom love with equal love towards each other. We often love without being loved, or loved without loving.

That's all from me. Sharing yours?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Books into Screen: Les Misérables (2012)

Directed by Tom Hooper, this is actually an adaptation of a musical by Schönberg, which is itself an adaptation of Victor Hugo's famous work of the same title. But this film brings more allusion to the novel than regular musical stage performance, even changes the musical here and there to fit the novel more – an effort I truly appreciate.

If you haven't watched the film and don't want to read any spoiler, please do not continue reading. You have been warned.

Firstly, the setting, the props, the costume are magnificent. From the factory uniform to the prostitutes vestitures, Javert's uniform to barricade boys' emblem, all are amazing. The barricade, the elephant, and Valjean's garden, all bring memories back to the novel, which makes watching the film even more exciting.

Then the story itself. I've only watched the 10th and 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables. Thus I only know the lines that they sang there. But here are the things that are in the film but not in the two productions mentioned above and yet true to the novel:
  1. Valjean meets Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer and how Javert confesses to Valjean that he has reported Valjean to the authority, wrongly accuses him as an ex-convict.
  2. Valjean buys a doll for Cosette.
  3. Marius background as a grandson of a rich royalist is mentioned there. There is even a scene when he says he eats only what he earns. One of the things I love most from Marius, and those are not in usual musical performance.
  4. Valjean actually sings that he doesn't want Cosette to marry, that he fears the idea. Again, nice reference to the novel.
  5. Gavroche dies while singing and taking cartridges from the dead bodies. The only difference exists from the novel is the song that he sings.
  6. Enjolras' death, together with Grantaire's is emphasised. Still, pity the bullets don't pin him to the wall.
Those are just some of them. I only write the most important and outstanding of the novel-based scenes that I found in the film. Now to the things I don't really appreciate.
  1. No clue whatsoever that Grantaire doesn't care a bit of revolution and only stays there for the sake of Enjolras. In the musical, one part of Drink with Me actually shows it. Just a little, but enough as a tribute to his indifference to all idea of revolution, freedom, equality and such. In the film, they cut it. What a pity!
  2. In the film, Valjean takes a National Guard uniform from the field and wears it. Well, I understand that perhaps they have no time to explain where Jean gets this uniform from, but they don't have to make him steal it from a dead body. A bit out of character there.
  3. My eyes may be wrong, but does Valjean kill a soldier in the barricade? He shoots at least. In the novel, he aims for the hat only, but spares the man's life. That's the point. He's there, not to join the rebellion. And moreover, it's important that he kills nobody.
  4. No clue that Gavroche is Eponine's sister.
Now, the cast.
  1. Anne Hathaway is a brilliant Fantine. Nice acting. I don't want to comment on her singing. Although so many people report that they cry during I Dreamed a Dream, I didn't. Sorry.
  2. Hugh Jackman is also a very good Jean Valjean. His smile when he's around Cosette is actually heart-warming. A little comment on his singing. I understand that he wants more emphasise on acting, but his Who Am I doesn't work for me. His Bring Him Home, which is already out-of-character, doesn't impress me at all.
  3. Russell Crowe's Javert doesn't really impress me either. Instead of being a passionate lover of the law, he looks like a body without soul. His voice lacks the sternness required of the role, and he struggles with the notes at times. But his death, huft. I screamed.
  4. Eddie Redmayne as Marius. He's the most likeable Marius I've ever seen in Les Miserables adaptations. He has the balance of revolutionary student and inexperienced lover.
  5. Aaron Tveit's Enjolras gains a lot of fans out there. No wonder. Enjolras is a deep and attractive character both in the novel and the musical. He is even more likeable than Marius. Aaron is stern, serious, and frightening at times. He clearly shows his strong conviction, and his mind consists only of revolution. Great interpretation of Enjolras. Still, I love Ramin Karimloo's interpretation better. Aaron lacks a bit, only a bit, of fire. The blazing, fierce flame of revolutionary spirit, the vision, hope and dream of tomorrow, all that is hidden too much behind that serious expression he wears.
  6. Samantha Barks as Eponine. Nice singing, nice acting. She's perfect for the role.
  7. Helena Carter and Sacha Cohen are not really impressive. They do well, but not really impressive.
  8. Colm Wilkinson plays a great Bishop Myriel. I love his expression.
Overall, the film is a must watch, and is worthy of the novel and musical. Despite all the minus point that I give to it, I still love it all the same. But beware! The film will be hard to understand if you haven't read the book AND watched the musical. Yes, it was an AND. As stated before, the film is a complex combination of both, with plot and detail twist here and there. I watched it with my mother and she bombarded me with questions (and I bombarded her back with explanation) afterwards.

That's it. I actually didn't want to complain about the singing since it has nothing to do with the book, but I love opera and musical too much not to say anything about it. Watch the film – it worths the pain.

New Feature: Books into Screen

I am going to make another feature in this blog. I am very forgetful, so I want to make it easier for me, and hopefully others, to find things in this blog by organising them nicely. I've tried this by arranging things I like in different tags and put the tags on my sidebar, so that it'd be easier to look for. These things are namely Coat of Arms (for coat-of-arms in literatures that I want to blazon and visualize), Off the Shelves (things not connected to books that I truly love), and Bad Translation (Shakespeare and other classic works translated into daily Bahasa Indonesia).

Now another thing. I love it when books are adapted into screens. It might be TV series, films, or even musical and opera. This year for the first time I join a challenge on reviewing books and films based on them, but I still have another problem: I don't always watch the film and read the book in the same year. So..

Here we are. Books into Screen will feature book adaptations into mainly films. I will just say how the film is related to the book, and adding some personal opinion about them. I'm going to love this.

Please enjoy~

Friday, 18 January 2013

Weekend Quote #28

'Tis not right to adjudge bad man at random good, or good man bad

This quote has rested in my phone for months, I have almost forgotten whence it comes from. I thought it was Shakespeare, but when I checked it, no, it's Sophocles.

Creon said the line above after he was being falsely accused by the angry Oedipus. Creon brought a message from Delphi, yet the message was not something Oedipus like. Oedipus called Creon a liar and false friend. He even wanted Creon dead.

It reminds us all to be careful when judging people. We should not “randomly” judge people based on prejudice or simply first impression, because it's not fair. This kind of judgement usually ends up in wrong decision, just like Oedipus.

That's all from me. Want to share your favourite quote of the week?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Historical Fiction Challenge

Hobby Buku hosts this 3-years challenge and I'm just tempted to join. Despite the amount of reading challenges I've joined this year, I cannot resist the temptation. Haha.

I'm going for the Librarian Level, which means I will read 10-15 HF books in 3 years. If I can manage, I will upgrade my level of participation. 

I join this on January 2013, it means the challenge will go through January 2015. 

Anyway, here's the list of the Historical Fictions:
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Sabatini, Rafael - Captain Blood
Sabatini, Rafeal - Scaramouche
Shakespeare, William - Coriolanus
Shakespeare, William - Richard II

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Character Thursday: Roxane

Anne Brochet as Roxane
I'm talking about Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac. She is Cyrano's cousin and also Christian's wife. Funnily, I remember her as the only notable woman in the play.

Roxane is a good woman, actually. Firstly, she is kind. She wants to see Cyrano and Christian safe as much as they want to go to battle. She cares for her cousin, Cyrano, and loves him. But she loves Christian more – or so she thought.

Roxane is also a smart woman. She loves Christian because she thinks he's a good speaker. Meaning: She's good with words as well. At least, she has to be smart to understand Cyrano's poetry and smart insults. She also shows her cleverness and courage when she goes to soldier's camp to see Christian.

If there's any certain way to get her heart, it's poetry. Well, I don't really think it's poetry, but it certainly has something to do with words. Roxane loves words well-said better than handsome, good-looking face. Roxane loves the soul better than the body. She likes Christian for his looks at first, but it's his “soul” than gains her eternal love in the end.

So, despite the fact that she is very much insensitive when it comes to Cyrano's love, she is actually a good woman. There are times when I feel like I can understand her choices and reactions.

That's my character this Thursday. What is yours? 

Character Thursday
Adalah book blog hop di mana setiap blog memposting tokoh pilihan dalam buku yang sedang atau telah dibaca selama seminggu terakhir (judul atau genre buku bebas).
- Kalian bisa menjelaskan mengapa kalian suka/benci tokoh itu, sekilas kepribadian si tokoh, atau peranannya dalam keseluruhan kisah.
- Jangan lupa mencantumkan juga cover buku yang tokohnya kalian ambil.
- Kalau buku itu sudah difilmkan, kalian juga bisa mencantumkan foto si tokoh dalam film, atau foto aktor/aktris yang kalian anggap cocok dengan kepribadian si tokoh.
Syarat Mengikuti :
1. Follow blog Fanda Classiclit sebagai host, bisa lewat Google Friend Connect (GFC) atau sign up via e-mail (ada di sidebar paling kanan). Dengan follow blog ini, kalian akan selalu tahu setiap kali blog ini mengadakan Character Thursday Blog Hop.
2. Letakkan button Character Thursday Blog Hop di posting kalian atau di sidebar blog, supaya follower kalian juga bisa menemukan blog hop ini. Kodenya bisa diambil di kotak di button.
3. Buat posting dengan menyertakan copy-paste “Character Thursday” dan “Syarat Mengikuti” ke dalam postingmu.
3. Isikan link (URL) posting kalian ke Linky di bawah ini. Cantumkan nama dengan format: Nama blogger @ nama blog, misalnya: Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit.
4. Jangan lupa kunjungi blog-blog peserta lain, dan temukan tokoh-tokoh pilihan mereka. Dengan begini, wawasan kita akan bertambah juga dengan buku-buku baru yang menarik

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Turn of Century Salon - January

This is the January post of Turn of the Century Salon event hosted by November's Autumn. In this event we'd like to focus on literatures published between 1880-1930. I don't read much from this era, but I'd like to learn more. So here we are.

What draws you to read the Classics?
It's hard to say. By the time I realised that I love them, I was already too much involved in classics stuff. And not jut literature. I come to love history, the clothings, the musics, and other things as well. But perhaps I love the classics because they are so deep and beautiful, both in plot and language. I also think that if a book can survive for decades, even centuries, there must be something in the book that makes it so special and long-lasting.

What era have you mainly read? Georgian? Victorian? Which authors?
I don't really know. I rarely check. Talking about Victorian books, I read Sherlock Holmes, all of them, because I simply love him. I also love Conan Doyle as the author.

What Classics have you read from the 1880s-1930s? What did you think of them?
  • Leroux, Gaston - Phantom of the Opera
  • Sabatini, Rafael - Captain Blood
  • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan - Sherlock Holmes (all of them)
  • Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac

Name some books you're looking forward to read for the salon.
Hmm, I'm going to read these this year:
  • James, Henry – Portrait of A Lady
  • Conrad, Joseph – Secret Agent
Don't know yet if I'm going to read more. There are challenges I need to do as well.

Which authors do you hope to learn more about?
I'd like to read Henry James, because the book is in my list, and the title seems interesting. I also want to try Ernest Hemmingway, but later on, I think.

Which literary characters are you most akin to?
This one is also hard to answer. Captain Blood, perhaps.

Which authors do you love?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Absolutely.

Is your preference prose? poetry? Both?
I love both.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Weekend Quote #27

“I will be loved myself--or not at all!”

The quote I choose for this week is short enough, but it's spoken greatly by Christian, Roxane's husband in Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.

Before saying this line, Christian learns from his wife's mouth that she loves him for hisbeautiful words and letters, although she at first loved him for his face only. Well, actually, those words are not his, they are Cyrano's. That breaks Christian's heart. He tells Cyrano about it, and asks him to confront Roxane and asks her to choose between him and Christian. Cyrano says that it's actually okay if Christian wants to stay with Roxane, but the soldier answers with the quote above.

Many people try to be someone else in order to be loved. I love this quote because it reminds us all that it's much better to be loved for what we really are than to be loved for what we are not.

That's the quote for this week. Want to share yours?  

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Character Thursday: Cyrano de Bergerac

Imagine D'Artagnan. Now imagine Pablo Neruda. Now imagine Japanese tengu or Petruk puppet doll. Combine them all together. That's how Edmond Rostand made his Cyrano.

Gerard Depardieu as
Cyrano de Bergerac
Cyrano is a Gascon, a brave and honourable soldier, but at the same time reckless and proud. He's as skilled in swordmanship as well as in words. Yes, this terrible soldier is also a poet. He has one weakness, however: his nose. His nose is so big that he feels very much ugly. He feels that nobody will ever be able to love him.

I have mixed feelings towards this character. I love his courage and valour. Fighting a duel while finishing a poem, fighting against outnumbering enemies, taking a scarf from the enemies. He gains praise even from D'Artagnan himself. It's something to be boast about, right?

Placido Domingo as
Cyrano de Bergerac
Yet, in the matter of love, I think I must pity him. A friend has shown him that even with his looks he can win still woman's affection. But he has so little confidence in himself. He should know that the thing within is more interesting than the outward look. He must learn it bitterly in the end, when everything is too late.

One more thing about him. When he writes those poems and letters for Roxane, borrowing Christian's name, he truly does it with all his heart. Doing that thing, he feels that at least a part of him is beloved by Roxane. Christian, however, points out to him that it's better to be loved fully for what we really are.

Cyrano's story really reminds me of Placido Domingo's video clip, Paloma Querida. When you watch it, you will understand what the drama is all about. It actually resembles the play so much I start to think that Domingo borrowed the concept from thence. Enjoy.

Character Thursday
Adalah book blog hop di mana setiap blog memposting tokoh pilihan dalam buku yang sedang atau telah dibaca selama seminggu terakhir (judul atau genre buku bebas).
- Kalian bisa menjelaskan mengapa kalian suka/benci tokoh itu, sekilas kepribadian si tokoh, atau peranannya dalam keseluruhan kisah.
- Jangan lupa mencantumkan juga cover buku yang tokohnya kalian ambil.
- Kalau buku itu sudah difilmkan, kalian juga bisa mencantumkan foto si tokoh dalam film, atau foto aktor/aktris yang kalian anggap cocok dengan kepribadian si tokoh.
Syarat Mengikuti :
1. Follow blog Fanda Classiclit sebagai host, bisa lewat Google Friend Connect (GFC) atau sign up via e-mail (ada di sidebar paling kanan). Dengan follow blog ini, kalian akan selalu tahu setiap kali blog ini mengadakan Character Thursday Blog Hop.
2. Letakkan button Character Thursday Blog Hop di posting kalian atau di sidebar blog, supaya follower kalian juga bisa menemukan blog hop ini. Kodenya bisa diambil di kotak di button.
3. Buat posting dengan menyertakan copy-paste “Character Thursday” dan “Syarat Mengikuti” ke dalam postingmu.
3. Isikan link (URL) posting kalian ke Linky di bawah ini. Cantumkan nama dengan format: Nama blogger @ nama blog, misalnya: Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit.
4. Jangan lupa kunjungi blog-blog peserta lain, dan temukan tokoh-tokoh pilihan mereka. Dengan begini, wawasan kita akan bertambah juga dengan buku-buku baru yang menarik

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Bad Translation: As You Like It

Untuk Bad Translation saya langsung tulis pakai Bahasa Indonesia saja ya. Toh kalaupun ditulis pakai Bahasa Inggris pada akhirnya yang mengerti juga orang Indonesia lagi. Haha.

Kali ini saya mencomot beberapa adegan dari As You Like It karya William Shakespeare. Karya ini ditulis sebagai komedi, jadi seharusnya memang lucu. Sebenarnya saya sama sekali tidak yakin bahwa seluruh komedi yang ada di sana bisa dibuat sama menariknya sewaktu diterjemahkan, terutama karena jurang pemisah antara zaman dan budaya dari waktu komedi tersebut dibuat. Tapi seperti biasa saya akan mencoba.

Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were
good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught.
Now I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard
was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.
How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.
Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
by your beards that I am a knave.
By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
By my knavery, if I had it, then I were. But if you
swear by that that not, you are not forsworn; no more was this
knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he
had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancackes or
that mustard.

Translasi, seperti biasa:

Dari seorang ksatria yang bersumpah demi kehormatannya bahwa pancake-nya enak dan mustardnya nggak. Saya saksinya, pancake-nya nggak enak dan mustardnya enak, dan si ksatria itu sumpahnya nggak sah.
Buktinya apa?
Iya, iya, coba buktiin.
Nah sekarang kalian pegang dagu kalian, dan sumpah demi janggut kalian bahwa saya orangnya brengsek.
Sumpah demi janggut kami, seandainya kami punya.
Demi kebrengsekan saya, seandainya saya emang brengsek, iya. Tapi kalo kalian sumpah demi sesuatu yang nggak ada, sumpahnya nggak sah, dong. Sama aja kaya ksatria ini, sumpah demi kehormatannya, padahal dia nggak terhormat, atau kalaupun dia dulu terhormat udah abis dipake sumpah kayanya kehormatannya.

Adegan di hutan, Rosalind, Celia dan Touchstone.

O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!
I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.
I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel,
and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort the weaker vessel, as
doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat;
therefore, courage, good Aliena.
I pray you bear with me; I cannot go no further.
For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you;


Demi Jupiter, aku udah capek hati rasanya!
Saya sih mending cape hati daripada cape kaki.
Aduh, kalo lagi ga pake baju cowok, aku udah pingin nangis-nangis ni rasanya kaya anak cewek. Tapi karena aku lagi pake baju cowok, harus bisa menghibur cewek, jadi, sabar ya, Aliena.
Tunggu aku bentar ya. Aku udah ga kuat jalan lagi.
Buat saya sih mendingan nunggu kamu daripada nanggung kamu. Udah berat, ga ada untungnya lagi.

Adegan di hutan, Rosalind dan Celia:

Never talk to me; I will weep.
Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider that tears
do not become a man.
But have I not cause to weep?
As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.
His very hair is of the dissembling colour.
Something browner than Judas's.
Marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.
I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.
An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.
And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of
holy bread.
He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana. A nun of
winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of
chastity is in them.
But why did he swear he would come this morning, and
comes not?
Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.
Do you think so?
Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a horse-stealer; but
for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as covered
goblet or a worm-eaten nut.
Not true in love?
Yes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.
You have heard him swear downright he was.
'Was' is not 'is';


Jangan ajak aku ngomong, aku mau nangis aja.
Sok aja, tapi cowok harusnya nggak nangis lho..
Tapi aku punya banyak alasan buat nangis.
Oh, banyak banget. Sok aja nangis.
Warna rambutnya merah kaya rambut Yudas[1].
Rambutnya sih agak lebih coklat daripada Yudas, tapi ciumannya kaya ciuman Yudas.
Tapi warna rambutnya emang bagus.
Bagus banget! Kamu taunya cuma warna coklat sih.
Dan ciumannya sama khidmatnya kaya roti persembahan.
Sama khidmatnya kaya ciuman Diana[2]. Suci, tapi sedingin es.
Tapi kenapa dia bilang bakal dateng pagi ini trus ga dateng?
Berarti tu orang tukang bohong.
Masa iya?
Iya; Yah, dia bukan maling sih, tapi kalo udah soal cinta, tu orang ga bener.
Ga bener soal cinta?
Kalo dia bener-bener cinta sih bener aja; tapi kayanya dia ga bener-bener cinta kamu.
Kan kamu kemarin denger dia sumpah dia cinta aku.
Kemarin kan bukan sekarang.

That's all. Bagian tersulit memang mencari kata-kata yang pelesetannya mendekati apa yang Shakespeare mau. Misalnya bagian “I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary”, “bear with you than bear you”, dan permainan kata 'true' di “when he is in; but I think he is not in”. Maaf kalau tidak memuaskan, I really did try my best.

Tunggu edisi Bad Translation berikutnya ya.. :D

[1] Ciuman Yudas: Yudas mengkhianati Yesus dengan cara menciumnya.
[2] Diana: Diana adalah dewi keperawanan. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cyrano de Bergerac: Maybe the Love is Not At All Unrequited

It's a pity I neither speak nor read French. Had I known the language better, had I the ability to read it in the language it's originally written, perhaps I could have enjoyed it better.

It doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it – I did. But the play is still a play, and it's hard to translate a play no matter what language you want to translate it into. I'm just hoping I don't miss much.

Cyrano de Bergerac is a soldier, duelist, and poet. He's brave and skilled in words as well as in sword. He somewhat reminds me of D'Artagnan, with the same level of obstinacy and playfulness. He enters the stage dramatically, starting only as a voice that demands one actor to descend. His adventure doesn't end there. He then engages in a duel with Valvert, and wins the game while composing a ballad. Hmm, charming. But the great amazing thing is him fighting five scores of men to save his friend, Lignière.

But that's not the main plot. Cyrano is in love with his cousin, Roxane, a charming and beautiful lady. But he has a problem. Cyrano thinks that he is ugly, with an enormous nose on his face. He sure has the skill with words, but he doesn't feel confident with his looks.

“Look well at me--then tell me, with what hope This vile protuberance can inspire my heart! I do not lull me with illusions--yet At times I'm weak: in evening hours dim I enter some fair pleasance, perfumed sweet; With my poor ugly devil of a nose I scent spring's essence--in the silver rays I see some knight--a lady on his arm, And think 'To saunter thus 'neath the moonshine, I were fain to have my lady, too, beside!' Thought soars to ecstasy. . .O sudden fall! --The shadow of my profile on the wall!”

Meanwhile, Roxane confesses to him that she's in love with a handsome soldier, Christian. Christian is exactly Cyrano's opposite – good-looking but not a good speaker.

Instead of begrudging Roxane's love or challenging Christian in a duel, Cyrano chooses to join forces with him. Cyrano expresses his love in words to Roxane while making her believe that it's actually Christian.

“Roxane shall never have a disillusion! Say, wilt thou that we woo her, double-handed? Wilt thou that we two woo her, both together? Feel'st thou, passing from my leather doublet, Through thy laced doublet, all my soul inspiring?...Will you complete me, and let me complete you? You march victorious,--I go in your shadow; Let me be wit for you, be you my beauty!”

Well, Cyrano might be wrong. Perhaps it's not always the outward look that matters. Perhaps he's not that ugly at all. Perhaps Love is sometimes blind. And perhaps, his love is not at all unrequited. But perhaps, Fate uses the phrase “too late” too much.

I like the play, though I prefer to read it in its original language. I like the hero too. Cyrano reminds me of the Three Musketeers plus D'Artagnan. There are duels, battle, valour, honour, fun, and a lot of nice things in the play. Although the play is not a comedy, it's not dark as well.

Historical Facts and Background:

  • Cyrano de Bergerac was a real person, though the love story is entirely fictional
  • The play is set in 17th Century France, and the battle involved is a part of Thirty Years' War between France and Spain. 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Weekend Quote #26

O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!

Orlando's line in Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It might sound like full of envy at first, but actually it is not. Not really.

Orlando, seeing his brother so happy in his prospective marriage feels happy for him as well. But the happiness that his brother experience reminds him of his own love story. He loves a girl who knows nothing of his affection – or so he thinks.

I have no idea why I like this quote so much. It is one of those quotes that sticks to your head when you read it. It's difficult to be happy for someone else entirely, without comparing our own state to his/her.

That's my quote for the week. Want to share yours?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Classics Club January Meme: Best Book

What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why? Be sure to link to the post where you discussed the book!

It will be Les Miserables. I'm so proud of myself that I actually finished the book and that I actually like it so much. Les Miserables is a good portrayal of people's living condition along with the ideas that they have in their minds. I love the way it is written as well. It feels like the book brings you here and there, through places and thoughts, sometimes abruptly and randomly but in time you start to see the connection between pieces.

Here's my analysis of the book, including volume-to-volume analysis.  

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Around the World in 80 Books Challenge

Did you read the word “challenge”? Yes. I join another daunting yet interesting challenge, hosted by Stacey from Have Books, Will Travel. The fun of it lies in the rules that we can arrange ourselves, since the rules from the host is a little bit too much for me personally (sorry Stacey).

Here's the rule:
  • I start this journey at January 1st 2013 and thus the challenge will end at December 31st 2018.
  • I will count a book to one country only. If there are two countries or more in the setting, I'll put it to the one not in my list yet.
  • I will try to make a research on the countries. Since I read mostly classics I think it would be more interesting to research on the historical setting as well, not just the country as it is today.
  • I will separate the country research and the book review for convenience. (Maybe I won't be able to do this for every country, but I will try to do so as often as I can, when I have the time to makes such research and posts.)

Haha. Huft. With Classic's Club Project not yet finished and around 5 more challenges in my sleeves I still don't know what I'm going to do with this challenge. Let's hope I can manage.

United States:

LRP January Meme: Stage/Film Adaptation

All the world's a stage. - As You Like It, William Shakespeare

Freebie month, eh? For you guys who have had a tough time with Shakespeare, here's a grand relief. For those who have been in love with Shakespeare, you are free, I guess, to read more and more of him. Everyone's happy.

This month's theme is also quite as free. Plays are meant to be performed. There are hundreds of films out there which are based on plays. There are equally more stage performance of the plays, well-known or not. All we need to do is:

  • Feature an adaptation you love the most
  • Compare several adaptations that you have watched
  • Make a review of the adaptation, commenting on the interpretation of the play
  • Or anything else related to the play's stage/film adaptation

As usual, you may do one or several, and you are free to make more than one post in a month. Moreover, you may make this for each play that you read on January.

So, have fun and enjoy your reading (and watching)!