Botulism Strikes French Philosopher

This is the best thing of its kind since the Sokol hoax.

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2 Responses to Botulism Strikes French Philosopher

  1. Don says:

    A completely unrelated comment, except that it too is a “best in kind”… It is in my opinion the best mistranslation, and one that I thought you would like…

    I am packing up some books for the used bookstore, including, Aline Rousselle’s, Porneia, On desire and the body in antiquity, translated by Felicia Pheasant, which says, on p. 115… so this is my last chance to share it…

    “We should remember the stone covered in tongues which Rhea made Saturn eat instead of the child Zeus, and which she then helped him to vomit up again.”

    Well I for one didn’t remember that! And of course “langues” is tongues, while “langes” is precisely what I did remember: “swaddling clothes”…

  2. Al Kriman says:

    In at least one way it’s better than Alan Sokal’s, because this hoax was apparently meant to be universally transparent.

    Much less significantly, I once posted a long, absurd, and (I thought) humorous article to the classics list about Easter Island, and someone followed up with what struck me as an inappropriately serious objection to just one silly bit of it. I never had the back story on that; I just played it straight. It did give me a chance to lean on the authority of Manolo Contendere, whom I’d originally neglected to mention.

    I wish Aude Lancelin had simply cited Botul’s lesser-known but more thoughtful later works, which show that Botul had a change of heart on Kant.

    After Sarah Palin’s book came out, left-leaning websites (and, for all I know, right-leaning ones too) made fun of it and of Palin. On one such site, a poster transcribed a poorly-written paragraph, which other posters proceeded to ridicule. It’s a shame that the original poster only allowed the criticism to go on for a little while before pointing out that the quote was from one of Barack Obama’s books.

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