Saturday, May 21, 2016

Daily Update: Saturday, May 21

I finished the Aesop translations for John Lubans: some Aesop's fables. They were fun to work on! He included several from Odo like this one:

The Two Monks
There were two monks who were on a journey, and along the way they came to a monastery. One of the monks, an inveterate liar, exclaimed, "Let's make a bet! By telling lies, I will be able to make more profit here than you and your truth-telling." The other monk, who always told the truth, agreed to the wager. They then went into the monastery, only to find that it was full of apes. The liar saluted the community of apes, and the abbot of the apes inquired, "What do you think of me and my brethren?" The liar replied, "I have never seen a religious community so fair as this one. As I gaze upon you, I realize that men are not superior to apes, but the other way around: you apes are the ideal to which we should aspire." And so he continued to praise the apes, and the apes, greatly pleased, gave him gold and silver and other precious gifts. Then the abbot of the apes asked the other man, "What do you think of me and my brethren?" The monk replied truthfully, saying, "I have never seen a congregation that looked so ridiculous or smelled so bad." The apes grew angry and attacked the man, beating him so badly that he barely escaped with his life. Telling the truth can be a risky business.

(For a more literal translation, see Jacobs Odo 41; see also Oxford Aesop 108.)

(Steinhowel, not set in a monastery like Aesop)

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