May 13th, 2001

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вести с полей

Ученые измерили разницу между женским и мужским оргазмами.

Да. Почему-то пришло в голову выяснить, как давно глагол to come используется в английском в значении "достичь оргазма". Оказывается очень давно. OED датирует первую ссылку 1650-м годом. Вот она:

Then off he came,
& blusht for shame
soe soon that he had endit.


Тут надобны какие-то умные слова о том, как неизменны и постоянны человеческие треволнения. Хотя нигде в античности я описания этой конкретной проблемы не припоминаю.
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маледиктиа

Читаю Dead Babies Мартина Амиса ("Мёртвые детки"?). Очень интересно наблюдать, как Амис заигрывает с табуированными словами, в частности, всё тем же fuck.

Для современного американского писателя (или читателя) фак - слово практически нетабуированное. Можно свободно использовать его, когда герою на ногу падает молоток. Можно подчеркнуть феминизм продвинутой героини. Можно нагнетать эротику. Короче, слово как слово.

Для британского же автора (или читателя) фак всё ещё воспринимается как очень грубое, жёсткое слово. Оно намного грубее всех его эвфемизмов типа screw и bang. У него практически нет санкционированных культурой, смягченных смыслов (типа невинных американских oh, fuck! или fuck it, I'm going home).

Поэтому нижеследующий отрывок в тексте американского писателя был бы просто скучен и непонятен. Мартина Амис же нагнетанием этого слова создает эффект иронической издевки над табуированным статусом фака:

Whitehead shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
'Because Quentin and Andy say Lucy's really something. She's really... quite a nympho."

'What do you mean exactly?'

Keith coughed. 'Just that she'll fuck anyone.'

'Ooh, I don't know about "anyone",' - said Giles, dubiously, having fucked her himself.

'Andy's fucked her, Quentin's fucked her--'

'-I've fucked her,' Giled weighed in.

'Brian Hall and all that lot have fucked her.'

'Bob Henderson and all that lot have fucked her,' said Giles. 'Yes, I suppose she does fuck quite a lot of people. Cy Harling and all that lot have fucked her.'

Whitehead, who had hardly fucked anyone, hadn't fucked her, and it was his dream to do so this very weekend. Thus, he said abruptly, 'I hear she's got some sort of veneral thing' - a wheeze of his to put Giles off fucking her himself.
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теория лжи

Эко великолепен, как всегда:

... Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken for a sign. A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else. This something else does not necessarily have to exist or to actually be somewhere at the moment in which a sign stands in for it. Thus semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot in fact be used to 'tell' at all. I think that the definition of a 'theory of the lie' should be taken as a pretty comprehensive program for a general semiotics.

(из книги A Theory of Semiotics)
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ещё Эко, забавно

0.8.4 Women

Let us consider now the exchage of women. In what sense can this be considered a symbolic process? In this context women would appear to be physical objects to be used through physiological operations (to be consumed as in the case of food and other goods). However, if the woman were merely the physical body with which the husband enters into sexual relations in order to produce sons, it could not then be explained why every man does not copulate with every woman. Why is man obliged by certain conventions to choose one (or more, according to the custom) following very precise and inflexible rules of choice? Because it is only a woman's symbolic value which puts her in opposition, within the system, to other women. The woman, the moment she becomes 'wife', is no longer merely a physical body: she is a sign which connotes a system of social obligations (Levi-Strauss, 1947).

Всё. Американские феминистки отдыхают.

Вообще очень много цитабельных мест. Можно расщепить книгу на афоризмы и так и читать. Но нет, в этот раз я пообещал себе прочесть её стройно и по порядку, от начала и до конца.
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три мушкетёра: сокращённый вариант

Из замечательного сборника пародийных сокращённых вариантов классики: How to become ridiculously well-read in one evening.

Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers


'... you can say what you like too many people let their minds sort of go to seed after a certain age the wife and I went to evening classes again last winter we took French literature and The Three Musketeers was the set piece by this fantastic writer Victor Hugo it seems he has this terrific output of plays and stories and books there was this boastful Garcon called D'Artagnan came to Paris and picked fights with these three musketeers Athos Porthos and Araminta anyway he became a musketeer himself and they all used to swagger through the streets of Paris shouting and singing and stabbing people it seems he was in a position to service the Queen and there was this vicious bitch Milady de Winter who killed the Duke of Buckingham and she got her come-uppance alright don't you worry and D'Artagnan was rewarded by the King what sort of puzzles me is why the book is called The Three Musketeers when there were four of them it was a mistake in translation from the original if you ask me and why were they called musketeers when all they used were these fantastic swords the whole course had a really terrific broadening effect on our minds and now we've got European literature out of the way next winter we're taking Chinese ceramics...'

автор: T.L.McCarthy
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оттуда же

Не могу удержаться, уж слишком хорошо. Кому надоел английский язык, не читайте:

James Joyce
Finnegans Wake


Finnegans Wake
Is one long spelling mistake
With not a lot
Of plot.

Its central theme,
Revealed through H. C. Earwicker's dream,
Is the cyclical pattern of fall and resurrection,
But except for a few good puns it's not worth close inspection.


(аминь)
(автор - V. Ernest Cox)
(всё, пойду-ка я пожалуй и делом займусь).