Sunday, August 5, 2007

Arabic Translation

-Originally posted Sunday, March 25, 2007

Today I went to the coffee shop across the street from my apartment. When I got to the register, I put down on the counter the Penguin paperback I had been carrying. The girl behind the register asked me if I was reading it in translation. It was Don Quixote. I said yes, unfortunately I don't read Spanish. She said she didn't either yet but she was getting better. The guy at her bodega was teaching her.
The Spanish word bodegon means pantry, but is also used to refer to still-life paintings (this at least I know). This is because in the Spanish tradition still-lifes often depict objects from the pantry. Like for instance a coffee cup.

In France, they call bodegas arabes, after those who frequently own them.
Cervantes interrupts his narrative in Chapter IX to write that the rest of Don Quixote's history was recorded by "an Arab historian."

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