Rilke: Translating "What Survives" into German

Rilke, 1900

What a journey! In the first (and impressive) episode of the brand new SyFy series "The Magicians" a character is reciting a German poem (48:22). Well, at least this is supposed to be the case, as a matter of fact I was not sure if this is German, some historical slavian fantasy estonian or just made up sounds. But then, there were some sentences that could be understood: "Die Quantenstufe? Wer sagt, dass alle verschwinden müssen? Wer weiße moglikerweise der Flug der Vogels der sie verletzte überreste? Unde möglikerweise überleben Blumen" Apparently, this was a quote from a famous German poet and wizard named "Rachkach." ... Well. I never heard this name before, nor was I sure if this was a name at all. A famous german poet with an interest in occultism? Goethe comes to mind, but in English it is generally pronounced more like "Go-theee" so I could not find a link to "Rachkach".
Google was not helpful for the first 20 minutes. I found a source, indeed, but it was a cambridge master thesis with the topic "Christ Among Them: Incarnation and Renaissance in Medieval Italian Culture" by Edoardo Mungiello from 2008. But, reading this, the German is not better here, maybe it is a product by Google Translate:

Wer sagt, daß alle verschwinden müssen? Weir weiß, möglicherweise
der Flug des Vogels verwunden Sie des Remains und möglicherweise
überleben Blumen Liebskosungen in uns, In ihrem Boden.

Es is nicht die Geste, die dauert, aber es kleidet Sie wieder in der
Goldrüstung - von Brust zu knie- Und die Schacht war – ein Engel
trägt ihn nach Ihnen so rein.

—Was Überlebt, Rainer Maria Rilke. 

But, at least, a name, or make that two: The author seems to be the Austrian poetrist Rainer Maria Rilke, english possibly pronounced as Rachkach, and he is indeed one of the most famous poets of the German language (and indeed with a profound interest in occultism). And the poem seems to be "Was überlebt". But after searching this for 20 other minutes: There seems to be no poem with this name by Rilke. So how could this be? Two sources with several years distance between them, both quoting the same miswritten poem - and nothing else? Maybe it was a backtranslation from English to a supposed-to-be German - so I tried searching for Rilke poems with keywords like Goldrüstung or Engel or Blume or Vogelflug. Nothing. So, maybe this is not by Rilke at all, so I tried searching for German poems in general with these keywords. Nothing. ... Well. Maybe... it is... an English poem, mistaken for a German one? So I googled "What survives" and "Rilke" - and tadaa: Here it is. 

Who says that all must vanish?
Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.

It isn't the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor --from breast to knees--
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you.

Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by A. Poulin 

The comments on this site helped me with the rest: Apparently, Rilke wrote several hundreds of his poems in French. This one was beautifully translated by the american poet Alfred Poulin and seems to be quite popular in the English speaking world. So, well, this is the original version:

Qui te dit que tout disparaisse? 
De l'oiseau que tu blesses, 
Qui sait s'il ne reste le vol? 
Et peut-être les fleurs des caresses 
Survivent à nous, de leur sol. 

Ce n'est pas le geste qui dure, 
Mais il nous revêt de l'armure 
D'or, des flancs aux genoux, 
Et tant la bataille fut pure, 
qu'un Ange la porte après vous. 

That was hard work to find it and I am quite surprised it was. But as a favor for you English speaking guys I will translate the french poem to correct and somewhat nice German now -so you can quote it in your favorite language in the next tv series - I try to keep the wording similar to the quasi canonical translation I found two sources for...

Wer sagt uns, dass alles verschwinden wird?
Wer weiß, ob des Vogels Flug
bestehen bleibt, wenn Du ihn verletzt, 
und vielleicht überleben die Blumen
die Liebkosungen in uns, in ihrem Boden.

Es ist nicht die Geste, die dauert
jedoch, sie kleidet Dich erneut in Harnisch, 
golden von der Brust bis zu den Knien,
und die Schlacht war so rein
Dass ein Engel sie nach Dir trug.

Rainer Maria Rilke (übersetzt von Daniel Stein)

Image: Rilke, 1900

Linguistics: Speech Accent Archive

Great source!

Everyone who speaks a language, speaks it with an accent. A particular accent essentially reflects a person's linguistic background. When people listen to someone speak with a different accent from their own, they notice the difference, and they may even make certain biased social judgments about the speaker.

The speech accent archive is established to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds. 

Speech Accent Archive

Roddenberry Data Recovered from Old Floppy Disks

The world leading data forensics company DriveSavers extracted data from 200 Gene Roddenberry floppy disks with no functional computer that can read the file format. Wow, I really wonder what might be on those disks:

When Gene Roddenberry’s computer died, it took with it the only method of accessing some 200 floppy disks of his unpublished work. Here’s how this tech mystery was solved.

DriveSavers Blog

Ars Technica

 

Image: Gene Roddenberry 1976 by Larry D. Moore. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Limits of Discourse

I could comment this encounter but this is needless. The obvious: Discussion and discourse depend on the willingess to exchange by the debatants. 

Last week, I did my best to engineer a public conversation with Chomsky about the ethics of war, terrorism, state surveillance, and related topics. As readers of the following email exchange will discover, I failed. I’ve decided to publish this private correspondence, with Chomsky’s permission, as a cautionary tale. Clearly, he and I have drawn different lessons from what was, unfortunately, an unpleasant and fruitless encounter. I will let readers draw lessons of their own.

The Limits of Discourse As Demonstrated by Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky

 

Science, Mathematics and Vampires

 Histoire des vampires et des spectres malfaisans avec un examen du vampirisme, 1820

A surprisingly large number of academic studies—as in, more than one—have applied mathematical modeling to the concept of human-vampire co-existence. Using the depiction of bloodsuckers in various forms of media, from Bram Stoker's Dracula to True Blood, these papers look at whether Earth's vampire population would inevitably annihilate humanity, and, if so, how long it would take.

This article of Atlas Obscura presents an interesting history of mathematics dealing with the transylvanian problem of renewable resources. Great lecture!

Atlas Obscura: HERE'S HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE FOR VAMPIRES TO ANNIHILATE HUMANITY

Image: « Les vampires » par Berthe — Google libros: http://books.google.com.co/books?id=h48BAAAAYAAJ. Sous licence Domaine public via Wikimedia Commons.

TV GUI Localization Fail

The Hisense-TV of my sister in law is a perfect example for a localization fail. The menu title "Guía de Programas" is Spanish, the date format and content text as well as two navigation buttons are German (as it was supposed to be) but the other navigation buttons are in English. The most intriguing example is the English button "Next day" compared to the German button "Letzter Tag" which (incorrectly) means "previous day" (should be vorheriger Tag). You had one job...

 

 

The History of German Lexicography

BGJ 7

In the latest issue of Brüder Grimm-Journal (Volume 7, Spring 2015) you may find an article by Ute-Lilly Mohnberg and me dealing with the history of German Lexicography: "160 Jahre Deutsches Wörterbuch - Die Brüder Grimm und die Lexikographie" - as presented in our exhibition "Die Wörtersammler" in the former Museum of the Brothers Grimm in Kassel in 2014. As you may imagine, article and journal are in German. 

The new website of the Association of the Brothers Grimm (made by me) went online last week and the new shop will launch soon aswell, so you may take a look there if you are interested in the Journal. 

Pages