Sunday, June 12, 2011

Page 18, version 2

All of these foreign texts are somehow relevant to their context, by the way. However, I have no memory of what they say.


Anonymous said...

I tried to translate the Arabic sentence. The best I could do is:

Say if the sea ink spoke shake to run out the sea before to run out it spoke shake and if ? the same ink

Any idea if it was a quote or good Arabic, or did you take a Joycean approach to writing it?

alai said...

Here's the Chinese. Both are from the Dao De Jing and both translations are taken from a decent version (


There's a second part of this that goes, 故有之以為利,無之以為用

The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends. Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness.

In red (?): 天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗;聖人不仁,以百姓為芻狗。

Heaven and earth do not act from (the impulse of) any wish to be benevolent; they deal with all things as the dogs of grass are dealt with. The sages do not act from (any wish to be) benevolent; they deal with the people as the dogs of grass are dealt with.

Stephen Crowe said...

Thanks for the footnotes, guys! Now if I can just find an Israeli...

@Anonymous: It wouldn't surprise me to learn that I'd made some typographical errors, but I'm pretty sure it originally came from the Koran.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, there are a few typographical errors, but you're right that it's from the Qur'an.

'Say, "If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement."'

- Chris

Stephen Crowe said...

Yes, that's exactly what it was supposed to say! I'll try to fix it as soon as I get a chance. I wanted to change the font anyway. Where are the mistakes?

Anonymous said...

"مددا لكلمت" rather than "مددالكلمت" (a space is missing). "ربي" rather than "رج" (You make this mistake twice). However, there should still be a shedda (the little 'w') above the "ب" in "ربي"

That word could also be written "ربى" without the two dots below the last character.

And "لنفذ" should have a space after it.

You've put a hamza (the thing that looks like a backwards 2) at the end of the second last word (just before "مددا"). Delete it.

If you don't speak Arabic, it's very impressive that you transcribed that sentence as well as you did!

Stephen Crowe said...

Sir, I am in your debt.