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From: "Kevin J. Maroney" <kmaroney@crossover.com>
Subject: (urth) URTH: It ain't finished....
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 11:15:46 

At 10:56 AM 12/3/98 -0500, Rostrum wrote:
>Rather argue that since the English "It is
>finished" can mean "It is over," "It is the end," and "It is completed,"
>"It is finished" is both a possible translation for "Terminus Est" and the
>common English translation of Christ's last words.  

Actually, my point was quite different from that. I have the feeling that,
in Latin, "Terminus" does *not* have the connotation of "finished" any more
than does the English phrase which is its best translation, "dividing
line". However, my Latin is certainly not strong enough to bolster this
argument, whereas I suspect Wolfe's is pretty strong. 

Part of my position in this discussion is informed by a note I once read
about the opening sentence of Kafka's _The Trial_. One common English
translation of this sentence is: "Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for
without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning." The
note pointed out that some English-speaking critics had made much of the
connotative meanings of the word "arrested", including "being stopped"--the
course of Joseph K's life is "arrested" at the same time he is. But, the
note continued, the German word used in the sentence simply *does not* have
that connotation; it simply means "taken into police custody". 

Similarly, while I think that translating "Terminus Est" as "It is
finished" is a very clever observation which does actually fit the book
well, I fear that it might not be a valid translation, and thus is an

Now, if anyone can tell me that it *is* a fair translation, I will withdraw
all my hesitation and embrace the observation as well-founded and
completely clever.

Wombat, a.k.a. Kevin Maroney kmaroney@crossover.com
Kitchen Staff Supervisor, New York Review of Science Fiction

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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