Posts Tagged ‘R J Dent’s essays’

A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: William Blake’s and Robert Graves’ The Tyger by R J Dent

April 15, 2016

 

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The Tiger

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes

On what wings dared he aspire

What the hand dared seize the fire

 

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart

Did he smile his work to see

Did he who made the lamb make thee

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Dared frame thy fearful symmetry

 

Robert Graves

 

Even the most cursory glance will reveal some fundamental differences between the above two poems. Graves’ rewrite came about due to a number of flaws he felt existed in Blake’s poem. He writes of these in ‘Tyger, Tyger’, an essay collected in The Crane Bag and Other Disputed Subjects. In the essay, Graves is particularly scathing of Blake’s tendency to mix his tenses, remain ‘imprecise and ambiguous’, ‘grammatically incoherent’ and to not care about the rhetorical focus of the poem.

More importantly, however, Graves neglects at any time to mention that he has ‘made his own arrangement of The Tyger’. After interviewing Graves, Christopher Burstall claims that Graves’ ‘arrangement’ includes ‘cutting out two verses and putting the whole poem in the past tense’, so that it is grammatically correct and more structurally cohesive. Read more…

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A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: Robert Graves’ and William Blake’s The Tyger

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

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An Untitled Piece of Writing by R J Dent

April 4, 2016

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Text:

 

Huh nee… mm mm… ow ryu…hrn ee… yeh… mm hm… mtu… ths gd… wzs tht thn… bh cs… mmm… i fl lk… mm mm… skn… lkn… fkn… yr ck… yd oo dyr… ys iyd oo… wl i fl lk lkn… skn… fkn… yr cn t… du yu rly… yr id oo… mm… ino… hm hm… yu wn tha… ym mm… oh… an tha… mmm… ye ye… oka… thn dw tha… ohh… fme… yeh… mmm… thas fkn byu tfl… oh… oh oh… ye… ye… yeh… jee sus… yr fkn lv lee… ah… nd yr fkn lv lee tu… ah… tk dty tu me… hwd ym een… kmon y no… dty wds… tht srt oth ng… oka… bnd ovr bch… oh… oka… nw gwon… sprd m wd… oh… f me… mm mm… gw on bby… pt yr fce thr… mm mm… thas t… stk yr tng rt upt… ths t… o yh… gwon… lkit… hrd… ye ye… o… ye… dwit fm ee… sy mr dty wds… whl i sk yu… yu va lvl ee cnt… a byu tfl… lv lee… tst ee cnt… o… ar… yss… sy mr… cll m… nms… y slt… ah yss… mr… y byu tfl fkn lvl ee chp sl te hr… o yss… ths it… n ow… rm tn… yra… byu tfl… fkn bch… hhh… ng… gg… cl me a byu tfl hr gn… yu byu tfl fkn hr… lv lee… lv yu… lv yr boh dee… suh byu tfl… hr… oh ye… oh yeh… k moh vrm ee… k minm ee… ths it…. yeh o… ah… oh… ah… oh… yss… ll vu… gv… it… t… me… hrd… slm tn… aa… aa… ys… fk… fk… ah… fk hrd rr… ys… ys… fk m… fk m… ohh hhh… yssss… hg gh… hh hg gh… yaa… yaa… hg… gh… fr… haaa… huhu… hu… yehh… mmm hmm… hmm mmm… yu ka ym… mm… me tu…

 

 

Commentary:

 

And so, if you should happen to find writing of the type that is taking up the space above these expositional lines, examine it carefully for what sort of text it might be – and what it might be doing. Does it have a purpose? A meaning? Are there any messages in it? Is it of any practical use? Do we learn anything from it? Is it English (Standard, I mean)? Does it conform to the grammatical and lexical rules we all know so well? If not, why not? Read more…

An Untitled Piece of Writing

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

 

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On Translating Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal into English – by R J Dent

January 10, 2015

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One of the frustrations, the challenges, the problems – and probably the joys – of translating Baudelaire’s poetry is choosing the correct idiom to translate into.

Taking the words, sentences, phrases, lines, from the language of one country and translating them into the corresponding or equivalent language of another country is the type of work that can be done by almost anyone.

However, choosing the absolutely perfect cultural, social, geographical, spatial, historical, temporal and linguistic framework to put the translated words onto is another matter entirely, and will very much depend on the translator’s intentions and the receptive vocabulary of the proposed readership.

And when it’s poetry that is being translated, the task becomes even more complicated; the problems suddenly multiply. Read more…

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R J Dent says: ‘I found translating Charles Baudelaire’s influential poetry collection Les Fleurs du Mal from French into modern English to be a rewarding, but challenging experience. This essay outlines some of the challenges and joys of the translation process.’

 R J Dent’s English translation of The Flowers of Evil is available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Evil-Artificial-Paradise-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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On Translating Baudelaire

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

Sade: Sex and Death – The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists (translated by R J Dent)

August 22, 2014

 

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SADE: SEX and DEATH

The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Cover Art: René Magritte – La Gâcheuse (The Bungler) 1935

Translated into English by R J Dent

 

“SADE IS SURREALIST IN SADISM”

André Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924)

 

The Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), best known for his violent, erotic novels, such as 120 Days of Sodom and Justine, was also one of the key inspirational figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos. De Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy, and writings. Sade documents this body of Surrealist work, including many key texts and bizarre and erotic images never before assembled in one volume.  Included in Sade: Sex and Death are more than fifty rarely seen transgressive illustrations by some of the most famous names associated with Surrealism, including Dalí, Hans Bellmer, Magritte, André Masson, and Man Ray. The book also features analytical texts by writers of the period such as Bataille, Breton, Bunuel, Eluard, and Klossowski.

 

Also included is the first-ever English translation (by R J Dent) of ‘The Divine Marquis’ by Guillaume Apollinaire, which was the first modernist appraisal of Sade and remains one of the best concise biographies of its subject, and “Sade and the Roman Noir” by scholar Maurice Heine, in which Heine posits Sade as inventor of the gothic novel. Putting the works in context is an extensive history by Candice Black that details the relationship between the Surrealists and Sade.

 

The Marquis de Sade was one of the key figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos as inspirational to the whole Surrealist movement. Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of their art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy and work.

 

Sade: Sex and Death documents this body of work, and features many key texts as well as a host of bizarre and erotic Surrealist images never before assembled in one volume.

 

Including texts, paintings, photography and drawings by: Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, Robert Desnos , Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Maurice Heine, Valentine Hugo, Pierre Klossowski, Felix Labisse, René Magritte, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Man Ray, Toyen, Clovis Trouille and others.

 

CONTENTS

 

Candice Black: Sade and Surrealism: An Illustrated History

Guillaume Apollinaire: The Divine Marquis (Trans. R J Dent)

Georges Bataille: The Use Value of De Sade (Trans. Allan Stoekl)    

Maurice Heine: De Sade and the Gothic Novel (Trans. R J Dent)

Pierre Klossowski: A Destructive Philosophy

Andre Masson: Notes on the Sadistic Imagination (Trans. R J Dent)        

Paul Eluard: Sade: A Revolutionary Intelligence (Trans. R J Dent)

 

SOLAR EROTIK ARCHIVE:

 

SADE: SEX and DEATH

The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Translated into English by R J Dent

ISBN-13: 978-0-9820464-9-4

 

Available from:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sade-Divine-Marquis-Surrealists-Archive/dp/0982046499

http://www.amazon.com/Sade-Divine-Marquis-Surrealists-Archive/dp/0982046499

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo11334062.html

http://www.solarbooks.org/solar-titles/sadesexanddeath.html

 

www.rjdent.com

 

Dungeness

April 10, 2014

by R J Dent

 

Dungeness is a headland on the coast of Kent, England, formed largely of a shingle beach in the form of a cuspate foreland. It shelters a large area of low-lying land, Romney Marsh. Dungeness is also the name of the power station and a few buildings near the beach, and of an important ecological site at the same location. The name Dungeness derives from Old Norse nes: ‘headland’, with the first part connected with the nearby Denge Marsh.

 

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Dungeness is one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe, and is classified as Britain‘s only desert by the Met Office. It is of international conservation importance for its geomorphology, plant and invertebrate communities and birdlife. This is recognised and protected mostly through its conservation designations as a National Nature Reserve (NNR), a Special Protection Area (SPA), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) of Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay.

 

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There is a remarkable variety of wildlife living at Dungeness, with over 600 different types of plant: a third of all those found in Britain. It is one of the best places in Britain to find insects such as moths, bees and beetles, and spiders; many of these are very rare, some found nowhere else in Britain.

 

One of the most remarkable features of the site is an area known as ‘the patch’ or, by anglers, as ‘the boil’. The waste hot water and sewage from the Dungeness nuclear power stations are pumped into the sea through two outfall pipes, enriching the biological productivity of the sea bed and attracting seabirds from miles around.

 

 

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There have been five lighthouses at Dungeness. From the mid-19th century, the lighthouse was painted black with a white band to make it more visible in daylight; similar colours have featured on the subsequent lighthouses. This lighthouse was demolished in 1904, but the lighthouse keepers’ accommodation, built in a circle around the base of the tower, still exists.

 

 

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The building of the fourth lighthouse, the High Light Tower, started in 1901. It was first lit on 31 March 1904 and still stands today. It is no longer in use as a lighthouse but is open as a visitor attraction. It is a circular brick structure, 41 m (135 feet) high and 11 m (36 feet) in diameter at ground level. It has 169 steps, and gives visitors a good view of the shingle beach.

 

 

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As the sea receded further, and after building the nuclear power station which obscured the light of the 1904 lighthouse, a fifth lighthouse, Dungeness Lighthouse was built.

 

 

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There are two nuclear power stations at Dungeness, the first built in 1965 and the second in 1983. They are within a wildlife sanctuary deemed a Site of Special Scientific Interest and despite high safety risks posed by the station, birds do flourish in the warmer water created by the station’s outflow.The older power station closed on 31 December 2006, while the newer station has had its licence extended to 2018.

 

 

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In addition to the power station and lighthouse, there is a scattered collection of dwellings. Some of the homes, small wooden houses in the main, many built around old railway coaches, are owned and occupied by fishermen, whose boats lie on the beach; some are occupied by people trying to escape the pressured outside world.

 

 

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The shack-like properties have a high value on the property market. Perhaps the most famous house is Prospect Cottage, formerly owned by the late artist and film director Derek Jarman.

 

 

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Prospect Cottage is painted black, with yellow window and door frames. There is a poem, part of John Donne’s ‘The Sunne Rising’, written on one outside wall in black lettering.

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But the garden is the main attraction: reflecting the bleak, windswept landscape of the peninsula, Derek Jarman’s garden is made of pebbles, driftwood, scrap metal and a few hardy plants.

 

 

A Dungeness house known as Garden Cottage is featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s album A Collection of Great Dance Songs.

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Dungeness now appears quite often in music videos, album covers and adverts. The shingle beach and fishermen’s shacks feature extensively in the Lighthouse Family promotional video for their 1998 song ‘High’. The acoustic mirror at Dungeness is featured on the cover of the album Ether Song by the British indie band Turin Brakes.

 

Dungeness appears on the covers of albums as diverse as So Much for the City by The Thrills and Aled by Aled Jones. The Prodigy’s single ‘Invaders Must Die’ video was filmed in Dungeness, and shows both the acoustic mirrors and the lighthouse. The BBC filmed episodes of Doctor Who in Dungeness during the 1970s.

 

The 1981 fantasy film Time Bandits shot its ‘Time of Legends’ sequence on the beach, and Dungeness was used to film a scene in Danny Boyle’s Trance. Much of the Michael Winterbottom’s 1998 film I Want You was set in and around Dungeness: the lead character’s home was one of the wooden beach dwellings.

 

 

 

 

Dungeness

Copyright © R J Dent (2014)

 

All photos by R J Dent

Photos Copyright © R J Dent (2014)  

 

www.rjdent.com

 

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Credit Where Credit’s Due by R J Dent

May 15, 2012

 R J Dent’s article on plagiarism – based on a real incident.

 

 

Plagiarism may be a dirty word, but there’s always someone ready to steal it…

(Note: The names of the musicians, groups and albums in this article have been changed in order to avoid anyone being libeled.)

It’s every writer’s dream: the brilliant and famous singer of the world’s greatest group gets in touch with you and says: “We’re writing a new album, so can you help us with the lyrics?” You’ve started to make a bit of a name for yourself with your writing, so you graciously accept the offer, and within a year you are fully valued, recognized and rewarded (artistically, philosophically, spiritually, socially and financially) for your ability to write perfect and succinct lyrics on important subjects.

That’s the summary of a dream of many aspiring poets/lyricists.

That’s nothing like the version that happened to me.

First of all, it wasn’t anywhere grand, like backstage at the O2 Arena, Earl’s Court, or even the MAN for that matter. No, this was an introduction by a friend in a café. Read more...

 

R J Dent says: ‘Credit Where Credit’s Due is a cautionary tale, based on a real event.’

Credit Where Credit’s Due was recently published in Writer’s Muse.

 

 

Credit Where Credit’s Due

Copyright © R J Dent (2010 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

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The Short Story by R J Dent

March 22, 2009


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A brief look at the history of the short story

Traditionally, the short story is a fictional prose tale of non-specified length, although a story of more than 20,000 words is usually considered to be a novella, a novelette or a short novel. The short story is generally too short to be published as a volume on its own, as in the case of the novel or the play. Dramatically, the short story usually concentrates on a single event involving only one or two characters. Here then, is a brief history of the beginnings of the short story as a recognized literary form.

The world’s oldest extant short story is Chabuki Yun’s Hop Ten Yato, usually translated as Green Tea. This 5000 word Chinese folk story is believed to have been written by Chabuki in 1100BC. Green Tea concerns itself with the meetings which take place between a princess and a Genji. The steam of the green tea of the title is the medium by which the Genji visits the princess and informs her of other-worldly realms. The princess grows weary of her day-to-day existence and of her Earth-bound form and decides to leave them behind.

“There is still so much to be done. Things cannot continue as they are for much longer. This world of ours must change!” Princess Hitami paused, and then announced: “No! We must change!” Read more…

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R J Dent says: ‘The Short Story is an experiment. It’s an essay about the short story that just happens to be a short story; it’s a fiction in the form of an essay (a fictional essay), or it’s a non-fiction short story. It’s a hybrid form of writing – part essay/part short story. I wanted to push fiction to its limit, to lower the threshold to the floor in terms of what can be done with the short story form. My initial idea was to write a history of the short story – and to make the whole thing fictional, with the appearance of it being factual – which is why I used the essay form as the mode of presentation. Readers generally accept the essay – the most fictional form of writing – as the most factual; the most truthful; the most non-fictional. I thought I’d use that acceptance to tell a story.’

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

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