Friday, July 23, 2010

2010.07.23 — Henry V, Chuang Tzu and Fushigi

Last night I had the great pleasure to attend Henry V at Vancouver's Shakespeare festival, Bard-on-the-Beach. This production featured the wonderful Alessandro Juliani, perhaps most famous for his role in Battlestar Galactica, but I became a fan with his roles as Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream and his scintillating Feste in Twelfth Night. This is an excellent show!

And my attendance generated one of those crazy little 'synchronicity-petites,' aka fushigi that just make me scratch my head at the peculiarity of life's playful interplayed confluences. By 'chance' the woman sitting beside me felt no hesitation in striking up a conversation with a stranger, and we were quickly talking about the play, Shakespeare, etc. Nothing special here, but at the break I asked what she did for a living. "I'm a translator," she said. With some prompting, she said she began with translating German, because it was easy — she was born in Germany, but that her true passion was translating Chinese. Now that is where this fushigi reared its head. I had in my bag the recently purchased The Book of Chuang Tzu translated by Martin Palmer with Elizabeth Breuilly. I in fact bought it because I wanted to compare translations.

That is the first part of the fushigi.

The second part relates to my blogging world, specifically my other blog, in which I look at books that interest me. My last several blogs have been mostly about the Greek philosopher Epictetus, with some other stuff mixed in. But what has me absolutely puzzled is that the many comments I've been getting in the last while, have ALL been from Chinese, and except for one, in mainland Chinese. So I have been having Google translate the comments into English, and then have that translation checked by a new friend who works in the office-pod directly adjacent mine. On Monday I received from Lilly my first lesson in writing/reading Chinese! I learned the characters for 'human,' 'entry,' and a few other words because of their relative ease in creation.

And that is the second part of the fushigi! (Well, I found it amusing, anyway.)

And that last bit is that on Saturday we learned that our 96 year old neighbour, is the Aunt of Alessandro Juliani!

Now, I am sure that none of the above is worthy of banging a drum in joy, but listening to Bang-on-a-Can most certainly is — I've put a new musical link to them. Enjoy.