• MT VOID, 02/04/22 -- Vol. 40, No. 32, Whole Number 2209 (2/2)

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun Feb 6 07:24:22 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    NPCs, but what are skins?" [-ecl]

    A skin, in an online RPG, is a character's appearance, whether
    face, body shape, costume, or some or all of the above.

    The game I play, Lord of the Rings Online, has a choice between
    two faces per species/gender. I've looked at the choices of
    faces available to many of my characters, and I can't for the
    life of me tell the difference, but many players vehemently assert
    that they can.

    Player characters can also go to a barber NPC and change their

    Finally, there are lots and lots of clothing choices. A
    character can be equipped with the highest-level armor or
    clothing they can wear, with more armor value and other buffs;
    but they can also wear "cosmetic" armor or clothing that will be
    seen by other players. This also works for weaponry.

    [Evelyn writes,] "It's got some clever ideas particular to video
    games, and even with my inexperience with video games it was
    enjoyable enough, if not up to many of the 'this is not the real
    world' movies." [-ecl]

    I liked it a lot. My daughter warned me that a lot of the
    magicalish weaponry would be borrowed from other properties that
    Disney has absorbed, and so it was. [-djh]


    TOPIC: Bibles (letter of comment by Jim Susky)

    In response to the comments on Bibles in the last several issues of
    the MT VOID, Jim Susky writes:

    Thanks for publishing McGath's, Dormer's, and Kerr-Mudd's responses
    re: Bibles

    A follow up may be of interest.

    Mr. Combs also recommended Kingdom of the Cults that summer (1976),
    much of which was interesting to my young self, and which was my
    sole reference for a paper I wrote the following spring about the
    LDS church (the teacher was a "lapsed-Mormon").

    Kingdom seems to be a perennial best-seller which has outlived its
    author (Walter Martin). Few years back I got another copy and gave
    it to my sister who was then actively recruited by a Jehovah's
    Witness. Thus inoculated she steered clear.

    To close the loop: I commented to Mr. Combs that the Christian God
    seemed not so compassionate--in that He would subject a man to
    Eternal Suffering for a seventy-year error--this was greeted by
    silence. [-js]


    (letter of comment by John Hertz)

    In correction to Evelyn's typing of John Hertz's comments on Latin
    in the 11/05/21 issue of the MT VOID, John writes:

    Thanks for printing my pome [sic] about Latin (MT VOID 2196,
    11/05/21)--but alas--with two garbles.

    I said it was "acrostic, in unrhymed 5-7-5-7-7-syllable lines like
    Japanese tanka." You misquoted that as "acrostic, like Japanese
    tanka." Tanka are in 5-7-5-7-7-syllable lines*. Only some are

    You misquoted my pome as

    Later it would fall,
    Although its power, beauty,
    Took evil no turn.
    In its day our minds, our speech,
    Nourished, seemed universal.

    transposing two words in the third line, making nonsense (and a
    nonsentence). The pome is

    Later it would fall,
    Although its power, beauty,
    Took no evil turn.
    In its day our minds, our speech,
    Nourished, seemed universal.

    In response to Evelyn's comments on SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT
    in the 12/24/21 issue of the MT VOID, John writes:

    More happily, applause for E's comments on Simon Armitage's 2009
    rendition of SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT: both E's faultfinding
    and her praise. Too many folks make "criticism" the same as "look
    how bad this is".

    I single out E's "This is like comparing William Faulkner and
    Ernest Hemingway (or Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges).
    Just because two works are in the same language does not make them
    equally accessible.", a fine response to Touchstone's "Instance,
    briefly; come, instance" (Shakespeare, AS YOU LIKE IT, Act III,
    Scene 2).

    In response to Mark and Evelyn's review of SHIVA BABY in the
    11/12/21 issue of the MT VOID, John writes:

    In MT VOID 2197 (11/12/21) when you started reviewing a movie
    called SHIVA BABY, I for a moment thought it might be about
    Ganesha. At the end of that issue you attribute to Ben Franklin "A
    full belly makes a dull brain." I've also seen attributed to him
    "Hunger never drove a good bargain." My 14th ed'n BARTLETT'S has
    "Necessity never made a good bargain" (p. 421) but not "a full
    belly"; it cites "A hungry stomach cannot hear" to La Fontaine (p.

    *Actually, in Japanese they're often written as a single line; the
    nature of the Japanese language shows the 5-7-5-7-7-syllable
    elements (they aren't really syllables either, but this glossing of
    glosses begins to resemble GILES GOAT-BOY ([J. Barth, 1966--oh,
    dear, I'm doing it again]) [-jh]


    TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    JORGE LUIS BORGES by Nicholas Emelio Alvarez (Society of Spanish
    and Spanish-American Studies, ISBN 0892950927) and naturally this
    entails reading FICCIONES and LABYRINTHS by Borges. There is a
    lot of overlap between the two collections, but though the same
    story may be in both books, they were translated by two different
    people. (And both books were published in 1962, which makes them
    one of the more peculiar pairs of the publishing world.)

    Anyway, the story "Funes the Memorious"/"Funes, His Memory" is in
    both of these, and in COLLECTED FICTIONS (with yet a third
    translator). And of the three translations, Anthony Kerrigan's
    (in FICCIONES) is by far the worst, and makes me suspicious of all
    his other translations. ("Death and the Compass" also has three
    translations, though none by Kerrigan.)

    What first made me suspicious was the phrase "a rectangular
    triangle." Was this a reference to some sort of Borgesian
    "impossible object", like a Penrose triangle or something? I
    decided to double-check this. (Why hadn't I one this before?
    Or had I, and had just forgotten?) The Spanish is "un triangulo
    rectangulo" (which has a nice rhythm to it in Spanish). It
    *seems* like "a rectangular triangle" would be the obvious
    translation, but as the maxim goes, "Ropa isn't rope and sopa
    isn't soap." The correct translation is "a right triangle."

    Then Funes says, "Mi memoria ... es como vaciadero de basuras."
    Kerrigan translates the last phrase as "garbage disposal," which
    conjures up the image of a machine grinding up Funes's memories
    in the sink. James E. Irby and Andrew Hurley both translate it
    more accurately as "garbage heap," implying the accumulation of
    memories rather than their disposal.

    I didn't do a thorough comparison of all three translations with
    the original Spanish and each other. But I think I will either
    read the Spanish, or a translation other Kerrigan's. [-ecl]


    Mark Leeper

    ... Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject
    in which we never know what we are talking about,
    nor whether what we are saying is true.
    --Bertrand Russell

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