18 Comments

  1. “Life of Pine” is a reference to Yann Martel’s 2001 novel “Life of Pi” in which the narrator spends 227 (?) days stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger named Richard Parker.

  2. “LIFE OF PINE is a reference to LIFE OF PI, about a boy who (Wikpedia) “survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger.” I’m sure we can all relate.

  3. I was able to identify the reference to “Life of Pi” without help from the comments above, but that was only to the title, not the contents. I would never have understood the relationship of the “nautical felines” to the plot of the novel without help.

    P.S. Why is this post tagged “French language”?

  4. Kilby, to answer your question with a question, did you notice the remark in the text of the post saying And I’m so glad people aren’t saying “Remembrance of Things Past” nowadays!?

    Edited to add:

    Powers, since the mid-1980s, the American publications of the new translations of Proust have included some revisions to titles of the volumes and of the overall work. It is now properly called In Search of Lost Time.

  5. Sorry, that was just a little too obscure for my taste. Luckily, I was never conscripted into reading Proust in high school, and I assiduously avoided “literature” courses in college. I freely admit “à chacun son goût“, but for me it would have been a masochistic waste of time.

  6. @Mitch4 My eyes actually welled up by your mention of the corrected title. While I never read the book(s), the two titles felt deeply different and I have a history of bemoaning English subtitle translations of French.
    I

  7. (Possible paywall warning) Here is a defense of the original Scott Moncrieff translation, by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker in 2015. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-a-flawed-version-of-proust-became-a-classic-in-english

    Gopnick mentions one of his sources: The first full-length biography of Moncrieff is now out, written by Jean Findlay and bearing the cumbersome title “Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Soldier, Spy, and Translator.” Here is a nice short article by Findlay from 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/15/perfect-proust-translation-for-purists

    Findlay gives 2002 as the date for the all-new translation. When Mitch4 mentions the 1980s he must be thinking of this: This "definitive version" was published by Gallimard in the 1950s, and reworked into Scott Moncrieff's translation in the 1980s by Terence Kilmartin.

  8. I didn’t get the “Life of Pine” either, so “nautical felines” didn’t resonate either.

  9. “Nautical felines” helped me figure it out. What could a nautical feline be? A tiger on a boat? Oh yeah.
    I didn’t read the book or see the movie, but I know a couple of things. One, the computer graphics turned out to be so expensive that R & H studios went bankrupt after winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Two, the name “Richard Parker” is significant.

  10. When my dad ordered a martini in a bar he would always ask for a non-Charles Dickens martini.

    What’s a non-Charles Dickens martini?

    No olive or twist.

  11. @Carl Fink Yeah Carl, I had to go research “Life of Pi”. I then looked into whether a book that is only 20 years old can be a “classic”.

    By the way, this morning, for the first time, I read the opening paragraph of “Wuthering Heights” (free ebook at the Project Gutenberg). I thought I might want to take a peek at it after after ignoring it for the 50 years that followed it being suggested for reading in high school. (There may have been an outtake in our English History textbook.)
    Emily Brontë originally published it, her only novel, under the pen name, Ellis Bell. (1847)

    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/768/768-h/768-h.htm

  12. I’m currently listening to “Wuthering Heights” via Michael Ian Black’s podcast “Obscure” in which he reads a classic novel — all the way through, every word — and comments on it as he goes. “Wuthering Heights” makes him think of Seinfeld because every single character in the entire book is a dick.

    https://www.earwolf.com/show/obscure-with-michael-ian-black/

  13. } Kilby: I was able to identify the reference to “Life of Pi” without help
    } from the comments above, but that was only to the title, not the contents.
    } I would never have understood the relationship of the “nautical felines”
    } to the plot of the novel without help.

    That’s a generic risk that a cartoon like this faces. If someone has heard of Oliver Twist but has no idea what it’s about, has never heard about the “Please Sir I’d like some more” line, they wouldn’t get the first one at all. If they knew the title of Victor Hugo’s novel but nothing more, they wouldn’t get the second.

    And so on.

    When I see cartoons like these I sometimes wonder if the creator assumes everbody will understand all the allusions or if he assumes they won’t. The former is naïve, the latter supercilious?

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