Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nonsense translation at the Jabberwocky, that is, the Jagiellonian University, Krakow

Krakow  18 May, 2016

There is a gathering. There is a clustering, custarding confluence of nonfluence, here in Krakow. After the extraordinary efforts of Olga Howlonia and Agata Holobut (and please sprinkle a couple of inter-diacritical motes and specks into their names), I found myself back in our nonsense band, on a Mission from Scrod: Olga, Agata, Sirke Happonen, and Björn Sundmark—an alliance forged over continents, conferences, conifers, and scrapyard round-the-back plastic barchairs. Calgary, London, Frankfurt, Malmö, Boston, and forty ways farther yet. And here we all are, as young and as fresh as the day is long, to give a special nonsense panel at Jagiellonian University. We were joined by the chrazy talents of Elzbieta Chrzanowska-Kluchzewska, a Professor at the Jagiellonian, to complete the set, and to talk about nonsense literature in translation. “That’s impossible!” you say (why do you always say that?), but we say nay. Or I did anyway. As you might expect, I rode my Indian nonsense hobbyhorse yet again (with extra bobs and bibbins, and the aforementioned non-linear lollipops). We spoke of translation in Finnish, Swedish, Polish, Marathi, Bengali, and Svengali, all to a most fine-smelling and accommodating crowd of students, professors, and even some sugary owls and cows.

The cold Krakovian rain raved in envy, but we prevailed—huddling forth to a celebratory after-talk lunch in a local spot. The only doleful interloper being what looked like it might be a dessert--or an emo band.

Avoiding a sorrowful end, we made our way to the train station, and a cozy berth, where another joined the band, Karolina Rybicka (whom we thank with flippers, also, for organizing).  As the train chugged anti-Krakowards, we filled the compartment with Swedish and Finnish vocal/nose flute ditties and illicit zubrowka fumes (or perhaps it was vocal/nose flute fumes and zubrowka ditties?).

The old Swedish-Polish battlefields flew by, as we headed to the next and final stop of the Nonsense Tour, Wroclaw, and the Child and the Book conference.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Nonsense train to Poland!

It has been some time since the nonsense train boarded, but here I yam once again--and this time, after purchasing my long yellow leather slab ticket with a blue spanch across it, I'll ride the rails until they begin running in zigzags like one letter Z put next to another Z and the next and the next, until I get to Poland. Poland! Land of the mischievous anti-communist dwarves, of Stanisław Barańczak, Julian Tuwim, and a most remarkable tradition of limerick. You may recall, long-time fans, of two hapless hunks clunking through Poland, seven years ago... and we have the blog entry to prove it.

This time, though, I mean business, which means traveling in a Nonsense Posse, including Björn Sundmark, Olga Howłownia, Sirke Happonen, and Agata Hołobut--all forces of fierce and flamboyant flapdoodle. Our first stop is Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where we will discourse on nonsensical cutlery, taxonomic taxidermy, and tissues of nonsense translation. My focus will be on non-linear lollipops, as seen below:

Another zigzag railway will bring us Wroclaw, and the Child and the Book conference. Our panel there, ostensibly on "play," is a nonsensical frolic through different follyicular foci. I'll be talking about Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, Paul Bunyan, and American nonsense (excluding politics, which is too sad to mention at the moment).

I'll check in along the way, but until then, on the train I go, to hear the steam hog's nose choked and spit pfisty-pfoost, pfisty-pfoost, pfisty-pfoost, as the train runs on and on to where the railroad tracks run off into the blue sky. Not even the Kings of Egypt with all their climbing camels, and all their speedy, spotted, lucky lizards, ever will have a ride like this.

*note bene: Sandburgian verbiage freely floated here, but I assure you no rootabagas were destroyed in the making.