Friday, January 22, 2021

(another) very short story;


I’ve been thinking about translation, or at least poorly executed translation. An early re-telling of “Cinderella” mistook fur for impossible glass, an error that has long replaced the logic of origins. One version of the list of Sumerian Kings wrote that Alulim ruled Eridug, one of the Ancient Mesopotamian city-states, for 28,800 years. How is this possible? And did Methuselah really live to 969 years old, or Adam to 930? One explanation offers that, given how all these Old Testament lifespans end with numbers 0, 2, 5, 7 or 9, they might simply be combinations of two “sacred” numbers: sixty and seven. Seven was Biblical, and sixty the Babylonian numerical base. Context remains so important. For the same reason that someone born two weeks prior to me, February 29, 1970, isn’t considered a teenager, instead of the cusp of fifty. And besides: who could ever walk in glass footwear without destroying their feet?

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