Sep 17, 2023

All the myriad GUILTY

If I were really the sort who needed someone to blame for life's tribulations, I would blame Max, though it took me forty-two years to realize that. It was that tempting little seminar he offered on Stuttgarter Schwäbisch in autumn of 1981 that drew me into the dark world of espionage and deceit and episodic madness. But really?

Perhaps I should blame my father instead for his love of books, which he so cruelly imposed on me. How dare he! A book was a sacred object, not to be defaced, and never to be stepped on. How traumatic it was then to see fellow students marking up their textbooks at university, with highlighters, pencils, four-color pens or, o horror, dog-earing the pages instead of using proper bookmarks. But as university does tend to have a corrupting influence on one's character, I was seduced by the perceived utility of the practice, and years later when I learned the term marginalia and found that it was a thing with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and other literary heroes of mine, well....

In Xanadu did Kevin Scott
A stinging margin note decree....

Damn old Sam. I blame him too. The derelict toxicodependente, bumming books and free room and board off his too-tolerant friends. Not as bad as that bloody Arab who fancied himself a Frenchie and swiped his host's suits. Oh no, I'm better than that, surely....

Oh, blame there is for all, in full measure, my friends. Form a queue, please, and wait patiently for your personal portion.

What have we here? Faith, here's an English teacher come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, Janssen; here you may roast your goose.

And you, Somtow, what have you to say? Quam tauri merda.

Round about that cauldron go, in the guilty parties throw....

But as the light fades from my dying professional eyes I see at last that I bear all the guilt in mine own Temple of Sin. For I have seen darkly, but face to face now with the social engineering Instagurus of Translation I know and confess: it is my bad mindset. And my failure to practice yoga. Mea maxima culpa.


  1. This is tantalising! It hints at so many things and merits fleshing out.

    1. Oh it has been in a few forms. But you don't "flesh out" shadows, and light case dispels them, or rather they displace.


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