Nov. 9th, 2016

ursula: (bear)
I'm skimming through The Secret History of the Mongols for an SCA project. This is a thirteenth-century chronicle; I'm using Igor de Rachewiltz's translation, which has excellent and copious footnotes.

I was struck by the segment where Činggis Qa'an's mother is kidnapped (by Činggis Qa'an's father):

history is tragic )

In the footnotes, de Rachewiltz comments that "Never forget to breathe my scent!" is literally "Go smelling my smell," with a form of the verb "to go" that suggests continuous activity. I think "Go on smelling my smell" is more evocative than his prettier translation.

This passage is simultaneously tragically romantic and pragmatic in a way that I'm not used to seeing in Western literature: I'd expect either Čiledü or Hö'elün to die here, in older stories, or one of them to kill Yisügei later, in newer ones. (Instead Hö'elün and Yisügei have five children, and then Yisügei is poisoned by some Tatars.)

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23 242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags