Quarterly essay found in translation

A Genealogy of Distant Reading
Ted Underwood, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Recently, The Art Quarterly sponsored a youth photography award.  The...

And these phrases also underscore something else: paradox, a kind of whimsical irony, humor. César Aira is obviously a man, and hence someone ostensibly disqualified, because of his sex, from ever wearing the nun’s habit or being a “modern girl.” (Another of his novels, which might be called the third installment in this trilogy, is titled Yo era una niña de siete años (2005), or I Was a Seven-Year-Old Girl .) The incongruity and perhaps even silliness of a mature male writer choosing these titles and the subject matter implied by them generates an aura of absurdity from the very start.

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So while the Hebrew word nachash is clearly the word for common snakes, these commentators have concluded that the compound word saraphim nachashim should be translated “fiery flying serpents.” It would appear that the saraph was a reptilian, snake-like creature, distinguished from common snakes predominantly by its ability to fly. Although I can not be certain that the saraph is not some species unknown to us in either fossilized or extant animals, I believe that the pterosaur identification is most reasonable. Indeed this interpretation seems to fit the context quite well. These flying snakes, or pterosaurs, could have attacked and overcome the Israelites from the air. They would have formed an ideal picture of the Messiah, in that Christ was made like us (indeed made sin for us according to II Corinthians 5:21), but he was still fundamentally different (divine). The winged serpent incorporates simultaneously the appearance of the snake and the lofty ability of flight in a unique animal. Moreover, the outstretched pterosaur on the pole would have formed a perfect cross!

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quarterly essay found in translation

Quarterly essay found in translation

• Issue 43: Spring 2016
• Issue 42: Winter 2015
• Issue 41: Fall 2015
• Issue 40: Summer 2015
• Issue 39: Spring 2015
• Issue 38: Winter 2015
• Issue 37: Fall 2014
• Issue 36: Summer 2014
• Issue 35: Spring 2014
• Issue 34: Winter 2014
• Issue 33: Fall 2013
• Issue 32: Summer 2013
• Issue 31: Spring 2013
• Issue 30: Winter 2013
• Issue 29: Fall 2012
• Issue 28: Summer 2012
• Issue 27: Spring 2012
• Issue 26: Winter 2012
• Issue 25: Fall 2011
• Issue 24: Summer 2011
• Issue 23: Spring 2011
• Issue 22: Winter 2011
• Issue 21: Fall 2010
• Issue 20: Summer 2010
• Issue 19: Spring 2010
• Issue 18: Winter 2010
• Issue 17: Fall 2009
• Issue 16: Summer 2009

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quarterly essay found in translation

Quarterly essay found in translation

Action Action

quarterly essay found in translation

Quarterly essay found in translation

And these phrases also underscore something else: paradox, a kind of whimsical irony, humor. César Aira is obviously a man, and hence someone ostensibly disqualified, because of his sex, from ever wearing the nun’s habit or being a “modern girl.” (Another of his novels, which might be called the third installment in this trilogy, is titled Yo era una niña de siete años (2005), or I Was a Seven-Year-Old Girl .) The incongruity and perhaps even silliness of a mature male writer choosing these titles and the subject matter implied by them generates an aura of absurdity from the very start.

Action Action

quarterly essay found in translation
Quarterly essay found in translation

• Issue 43: Spring 2016
• Issue 42: Winter 2015
• Issue 41: Fall 2015
• Issue 40: Summer 2015
• Issue 39: Spring 2015
• Issue 38: Winter 2015
• Issue 37: Fall 2014
• Issue 36: Summer 2014
• Issue 35: Spring 2014
• Issue 34: Winter 2014
• Issue 33: Fall 2013
• Issue 32: Summer 2013
• Issue 31: Spring 2013
• Issue 30: Winter 2013
• Issue 29: Fall 2012
• Issue 28: Summer 2012
• Issue 27: Spring 2012
• Issue 26: Winter 2012
• Issue 25: Fall 2011
• Issue 24: Summer 2011
• Issue 23: Spring 2011
• Issue 22: Winter 2011
• Issue 21: Fall 2010
• Issue 20: Summer 2010
• Issue 19: Spring 2010
• Issue 18: Winter 2010
• Issue 17: Fall 2009
• Issue 16: Summer 2009

Action Action

Quarterly essay found in translation

Action Action

quarterly essay found in translation

Quarterly essay found in translation

Recently, The Art Quarterly sponsored a youth photography award.  The...

Action Action

quarterly essay found in translation

Quarterly essay found in translation

And these phrases also underscore something else: paradox, a kind of whimsical irony, humor. César Aira is obviously a man, and hence someone ostensibly disqualified, because of his sex, from ever wearing the nun’s habit or being a “modern girl.” (Another of his novels, which might be called the third installment in this trilogy, is titled Yo era una niña de siete años (2005), or I Was a Seven-Year-Old Girl .) The incongruity and perhaps even silliness of a mature male writer choosing these titles and the subject matter implied by them generates an aura of absurdity from the very start.

Action Action

quarterly essay found in translation

Quarterly essay found in translation

Michigan Publishing maintains a free, online archive of past issues of Michigan Quarterly Review . Search the archive for over fifty years of fiction, poetry, essays, and more.

Action Action

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Quarterly essay found in translation

You can try to return to the Pourhouse Bar & Grill homepage and start fresh.

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Quarterly essay found in translation

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