August 9th, 2005

Drezzer cool

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday, walkertxkitty!
Happy birthday, plonq!

Your present is Today's Forgotten English!

One who renders a work into English; a translator.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1901

The Aroma of Antiquity
Birthday of John Dryden (1631-1700), English poet, dramatist, and critic, whose attempts to update Chaucer's Canterbury Tales met with limited success. Of Dryden, William Mathews's Words: Their Use and Abuse (1884) noted: "His rhyming, rhetorical manner, splendid and powerful as it confessedly is, proved an utterly inadequate vehicle for the high argument of the great Puritan. So with his modernizations of Chaucer. His reproductions of 'the first finder of our faire language' contain much admirable verse, but it is not Chaucer's. They are simply admirable paraphrases in which the idiomatic colors and forms, the distinctive beauties of the old poet -- above all, the simplicity and sly grace of his language, the exquisite tone of naïveté, which like the lispings of infancy, give such a charm to his verse -- utterly vanish. Dryden failed not from lack of genius, but simply because ... this aroma of antiquity, in the process of transfusion into modern language, is sure to evaporate."
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