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Off topic: Slander / la calunnia
Thread poster: claudia bagnardi

claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
English to Spanish
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Sep 28, 2004

Sometimes one comes by the right description of feelings through a poem, or as in this case, through a piece of an opera. Il Barbiere di Siviglia, in this case. Hope you like it as I did.

Slander is a little breeze
a very gentle zephyr
which imperceptibly, subtly,
lightly, sweetly,
begins to whisper.
Softly, softly, at ground level
hissing in an undertone
it goes spreading, it goes buzzing;
it penetrates insidiously
the ears of people
and bewilders and inflates
the mind and the brain.

Emerging from the mouth,
the noise grows in volume
gathers force little by little,
flies now from place to place,
It seems like thunder, like the tempest
that in the heart of the forest
goes whistling, rumbling
and freezes you with horror.
Finally it overflows and breaks loose
it spreads, it redoubles,
and produces an explosion
like the shot of a cannon,
an earthquake, a hurricane,
a universal tumult,
that makes the air resound.
And the wretched one who's slandered
trampled down, humiliated,
under the public scourge,
if he's lucky, expires.

The original version in Italian, is really superb, but for the sake of brevity I'll omit it, unless you want me to reproduce it.

But, don't you think it is an excellent description of slander/wild criticism?

Have a nice Tuesday!
Claudia


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:53
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Russian to English
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On the same subject, in lighter vein Sep 28, 2004

THIS WAS TOLD ME IN CONFIDENCE

by Ogden Nash

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip
In the course of a cosy little chat,
And I often wonder why
My neighbors all imply
I'm a pussy, I'm a tabby, I'm a cat.
Mrs. Dooley murmured "Miaow!" at me this morning;
Mrs. Cohen would have cut me if she could;
But my feelings aren't so filmy
That names are going to kill me,
And a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip;
I am pleased with Mr. Moffat's double life.
It's provocative to watch
Mr. Taylor guzzle scotch;
I wonder if he knows about his wife?
The sheriff wants a word with Mrs. Walker;
She doesn't pay her bills the way she should;
Yet I hear from several sources
That she gambles on the horses -
Oh, a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip;
It seems to lend a savor to my tea;
The deplorable mistakes
That everybody makes
Are calories and vitamins to me.
If I tell you Mrs. Drew is off to Reno,
You are not to breathe a word, that's understood;
For I said to Mrs. Drew
That I heard it all from you -
Oh, a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip,
But for scandal or for spite there's no excuse;
To think of Mrs. Page
Telling lies about my age!
Well, her tongue is like her morals, rather loose.
Mrs. Murgatroyd eats opium for breakfast,
And claims I'm running after Mr. Wood;
That sort of vicious slander
Arouses all my dander -
But a little bit of gossip does me good.


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:53
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Excellent description, great subject! Sep 28, 2004

claudia bagnardi wrote:

But, don\'t you think it is an excellent description of slander/wild criticism?


Excellent indeed, and powerful! Thanks for sharing it!

Following Master Jack\'s leadership, I bring another contribution related to the issue of slander, this time from the Bard:

SONNET 70
That thou art blamed shall not be thy defect,
For slander\'s mark was ever yet the fair;
The ornament of beauty is suspect,
A crow that flies in heaven\'s sweetest air.
So thou be good, slander doth but approve
Thy worth the greater, being woo\'d of time;
For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love,
And thou present\'st a pure unstained prime.
Thou hast pass\'d by the ambush of young days,
Either not assail\'d or victor being charged;
Yet this thy praise cannot be so thy praise,
To tie up envy evermore enlarged:
If some suspect of ill mask\'d not thy show,
Then thou alone kingdoms of hearts shouldst owe.

Cheers,
Q


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
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TOPIC STARTER
I had a great laugh, Jack Sep 28, 2004

"The deplorable mistakes
That everybody makes
Are calories and vitamins to me."


All right. Let's come to terms with the subject: some harmless gossip may be fun. Slander is harmful, vicious.
The problem is...I'm not sure I can always tell the difference, whichever side I'm on.

Nice translations
Claudia


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:53
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True enough Sep 28, 2004

Enrique quotes dear Willy:

"Slander doth but approve
Thy worth the greater".

Someone said that our enemies have a higher opinion of ourselves than our friends. Who was it, ungrateful Claudia?

Truth. The two sides of the same coin.

Claudia


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:53
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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My wife just reminded me of this one Sep 28, 2004

At Last the Secret is Out

by W.H. Auden

At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end;
The delicious story is ripe to tell to the intimate friend.
Over the tea-cups and in the square, the tongue has its desire;
Still waters run deep, my dear; there's never smoke without fire.

Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links,
Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks,
Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the sigh,
There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.

For the clear voice suddenly singing, high up in the convent wall,
The scent of the elder bushes, the sporting prints in the hall,
The croquet matches in summer, the handshake, the cough, the kiss,
There is always a wicked secret, a private reason for this.


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
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Someone else is visiting us Sep 28, 2004

W.B. Yeats

HE THINKS OF THOSE WHO HAVE SPOKEN EVIL OF HIS BELOVED

Half close your eyelids, loosen your hair,
And dream about the great and their pride;
They have spoken against you everywhere,
But weigh this song with the great and their pride;
I made it out of a mouthful of air,
Their children's chidren shall say they have lied.


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:53
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The Bard again Sep 28, 2004

No, 'tis slander,
whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
rides on the posting winds and doth belie
all corners of the world: kings, queens and states,
maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave
this viperous slander enters.

Cymbeline: Act 3 Scene 4


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:53
Member (2000)
Russian to English
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And the media can make things worse... Sep 28, 2004

Here's one of mine which is maybe relevant, although it's based on a lot of press stories which were hot at the time but have now probably been forgotten by most people.

THE PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW

(By Jack Doughty, 1993)

There’s a section of the press,
From the Sun to the Express,
That formulates its policy like so:
We shall print our facts and views
About those who make the news,
For the people have a sacred right to know!

If Fergie should cavort
At some island fun resort,
If someone sucks the Duchess’s big toe,
You can read about this caper
In your fearless daily paper,
For we nobly serve the people’s right to know.

If we can throw a spanner
In the marriage of Diana
To the Prince of Wales, we’re bound to have a go.
It surely wouldn’t kill her
To be told about Camilla.
She should share the people’s sacred right to know!

When she took that call from Squidgy,
Well, she didn’t have to, did she?
And we couldn’t keep it under our chapeau.
Do you wonder how we knew it?
Was her phone tapped? Did we do it?
Ah, that’s something people do not need to know.

We knew Maxwell was a rat,
But we couldn’t tell you that.
He’d have sued us for a million quid or so.
And we’d never be so rash
As to risk that sort of cash,
Just because of something people ought to know.

If there’s any threat to us,
We will never make a fuss.
We prefer to find a weak, defenceless foe.
But we’re ruthless in attack
Against those who can’t hit back.
We’re the guardians of the people’s right to know!


[Edited at 2004-09-28 17:04]


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
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Great poem, Jack. Sep 28, 2004


Claudia


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
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Well said! Sep 28, 2004

Jack Doughty wrote:

If there’s any threat to us,
We will never make a fuss.
We prefer to find a weak, defenceless foe.
But we’re ruthless in attack
Against those who can’t hit back.
We’re the guardians of the people’s right to know!



Good one, master Jack!!


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