Imago lacus

The picture above was taken by a dear friend, the American poet Debra Kang Dean (please do not use it without permission). I met Debra three years before, when I went to Walden to work with his late husband Brad, a great Thoreau scholar. Once we spent hours tracking this quotation: "Some men go fishing all their lives without ever realizing it's not fish they are after." We concluded that Thoreau never wrote it, but si non è vero...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ejercicios con Thoreau

Mañana participo en un curso sobre el tío Henry en la Casa del Lector, con Gonzalo Pernas y Joaquín Araújo. Como de leer se trata, estos son los textos que me propongo traducir y comentar con los que allí nos reunamos. El primero va de trascendentalismo:

[1853] May 31st. Some incidents in my life have seemed far more allegorical than actual-- they were so significant that they plainly served no other use. That is I have been more impressed by their allegorical significance & fitness--they have been like myths or passages in a myth--rather than mere incident or history which have to wait to become significant. Quite in harmony with my subjective philosophy-- This for instance--that when I thought I knew the flowers so well The beautiful purple azalea or pinxter flower should be shown me by the hunter who found it. Such facts are lifted quite--above the level of the actual. They are just such events as my imagination prepares me for--no matter how incredible-- Perfectly in keeping with my life & characteristic-- Ever and anon something will occur which my philosophy has not dreamed of. The limits of the actual are set some thoughts further off. That which had seemed a rigid--wall of vast thickness unexpectedly proves a thin and undulating drapery--the boundaries of the actual are no more fixed & rigid than the elasticity of our imaginations. The fact that a rare & beautiful flower which we never saw--perhaps never heard for which therefore there was no place in our thoughts may at length be found in our immediate neighborhood, is very suggestive.

El segundo es sobre el caso Burns, que ya comenté aquí:

[1854/5/29] These days it is left to one Mr Loring to say whether a citizen of Massachusets is a slave or not. Does any one think that Justice or God awaits Mr Loring's decision? Such a mans existence in this capacity under these circumstances is as impertinent as the gnat that settles on my paper. We do not ask him to make up his mind, but to make up his packs. Why the U. S. Government never performed an act of justice in its life. [...]
It is really the trial of Massachusetts--every moment that she hesitates to set this man free--she is convicted. The commissioner on her case is God. Perhaps the most saddening aspect of the matter is the tone of almost all the Boston papers-- connected with the fact that they are & have been of course sustained by a majority of their readers-- They are feeble indeed--but only as sin compared with righteousness & truth. They are eminently time-serving. I have seen only the Traveller--Journal--& Post. I never look at them except at such a time as this Their life is abject even as that of the marines. Men in any office of government are everywhere & forever politicians. Will mankind never learn that policy is not morality-- that it never secures any moral right but always considers merely what is "expedient" --choses the available candidate-- who when moral right is concerned is always the Devil. Witness the President of the U.S. [...]  I do not vote at the polls-- I wish to record my vote here. 

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