Unfortunately, non-Latinists are unable to appreciate the full comedy of the EOV. The only English translation was done by Francis Stokes in 1925 and will strike most readers as disconcertingly old-fashioned British English. It is also regrettably prudish, toning down the earthy language of the original until it is almost unrecognizable. For instance, would you guess that the following sentence: "Then was I sore afraid, and fell into such a pickle that I savored ill in the nostrils of those who stood by" (II.63) is a translation of "Tunc fui ita perterritus quod perminxi et permerdavi me, quod omnes nasum praetenebant" ("Then I was so terrified that I pissed and shitted all over myself, so that they all held their noses")?Hat tip: A friend.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A Prudish Translation
Barbara C Bowen, Enter Rabelais, Laughing (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1998), p. 91 (on the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum, or EOV):