I missed out on going to church tonight due to an unfortunate accident with my laundry — I did all of it in one go, leaving me with neither socks nor clean outer garb.
Instead I've idled a bit around the house, flicking through some Yeats and the Introduction to the Penguin edition of same. This bit's worth repeating:
Yeats's commitment to the potency of the word was also connected with his belief in the virtues of English as it was spoken in those parts of Ireland which had not yet been corrupted by the 'base idiom' of the newspapers, … 'a speech exhausted from abstraction'. In the Elizabethan period Irish writers 'belonged to the old individual, poetical life, and spoke a language [Irish] in which it was all but impossible to think an abstract thought'.
[Yeats] remembered that he had found himself 'continually testing both my verse and my prose by translating it into dialect' … helping him 'to get back to the definite and concrete away from modern abstractions'.
Which reminds me of Orwell's translation of Ecclesiastes 9:11 into "modern English" from Politics and the English Language, and of the introduction to Roger Ebert'sreview ofIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull , which has these concrete words:
The Indiana Jones movies were directed by Steven Spielberg and written
by George Lucas and a small army of screenwriters, but they exist in a
universe of their own. Hell, they created it. All you can do is compare one to the other three. And even then, what will it get you? If you eat four pounds of sausage, how do you choose which pound tasted the best?
Such a capable meat.
Neighbours are getting noisy again, time to plot my escape.