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Main  ::  Translations - all  ::  carmen 38 (Carmen 38)

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AuthorMessage
Guest
Posted on Sat Oct 18, 2008 23:10:34  
Sorry , but I am in great suspicion that the translation of Carmen 38 is incorrect. The meaning is just the opposite. First of all, the word “malest” does not mean “Things are bad”

Malest = magis+est. = the desire grows.

In this context the desire means love.

It means that the love of Catullus grows – and nothing else. Then his friend Cornelius sends him some words of comfort but the author denies them.

In the English language the order of the words is strict. Both, in the Russian and in the Latin poetry the order of the words is arbitrary. That is why it is more easy to us to understand Latin poems.

Englishmen would write the phrase as follows:

Quod tu es quem solatus allocutione qua minimum facillimumque est

It is you (i.e. not me) who are comforted when sending me the words of comfort, and you do it without any difficulty.

And then he says

Paulum quid lubet allocutionis, maestius lacrimis Simonideis

And this must be a question.
Quid lubet paulum allocutionis, maestius lacrimis Simonideis?

Who likes the words of comfort which are more sad that the tears of Simonid?

It means that Catullus does not want to hear any words of comfort.

Yours sincerely

Olga (Moscow, Russia)
Cambrinus
Posted at Sun Jan 10, 2010 18:57:55  Quote
I am afraid that, Olga, you have misunderstood the poem. 'malest' is 'male est', no doubt about it!
 


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