The OF Blog: A fun little late-night literary game

Monday, November 23, 2009

A fun little late-night literary game

Below are six passages from famous books in French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish.  Each of these are first sentences/lines and all are available in English translation.  Name the author and work if you recognize them.  Curious to see how many people can get without having to resort to Google.

1.  Aujord'hui, maman est morte.

2.  Domingo.  Die schönen Tage in Aranjuez sind nun zu Ende.

3.  Nominato ufficiale, Giovanni Drogo partì una mattina di settembre dalla città per raggiungere la Fortezza Bastiani, sua prima destinazione.

4.  Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?

5.  O sol mostra-se num dos cantos superioes do rectângulo, o que se encontra à esquerda de quem olha, representando, o astro-rei, uma cabeça de homem donde joram raios de aguda luz e sinuosas labaredas, tal uma rosa-dos-ventos indecisa sobre a direcção dos lugares para onde quer apontar, e essa cabeça tem um rosto que chora, crispado de uma dor que não poderemos ouvir, pois nenhuma destas coisas é real, o que temos diante de nós é papel e tinta, mais nada.

6.  Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo.

Muy facil, no?  Three at least ought to be deduced from the names/word choices alone, while I guess the other three might be slightly harder.  So how did you do?


Anonymous said...

#1 and #6 were obvious. I guessed the author correctly for #4 based on the name drop, but I never actually took Latin and don't know Roman classics well. That's it for me.

marco said...

1- Camus, L'Étranger
2- Schiller, Don Carlos (it's Aranjuez though)
3- Buzzati, Il Deserto dei Tartari
4- Cicero, Orationes in Catilinam
5- I guess Saramago, but I haven't read that one.
6- García Márquez, Cien años de soledad

O Assistente said...

#5 is Saramago's "O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo" (The Gospel According to Jesus Christ). One of the most fascinating books I ever read, a tale full of bitterness and reproach.

#1, #3 and #6 are also quite obvious but being able to read in Portuguese and Spanish makes it easier for me to guess, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

"2- Schiller, Don Carlos (it's Aranjuez though)"

And: "Die schönen Tage in Aranjuez *sind* nun zu Ende."
The German "sing" is the same as the English "sing".

Else I recognized only Catilina. (Had to translate that.)


Aishwarya said...

#1,3 and 6 I guessed - had to resort to google for #s 3 and 5, and drew a complete blank on #2.

Lsrry said...

Strange typos I made last night. Fixed now. And yes, all have been guessed correctly. Great stories, no? :D

José said...

Only 2 and 6. The other ones, I haven't read. By the way, a "t" is missing in "frenTe al pelotón (...)".

Lsrry said...

Corrected. Thanks.

Zaldar said...

so who guessed which ones correctly? I thought I would recognize the german but I didn't. Could translate most of them but didn't know the works. The first one is basically I think therefor I am correct? Haven't read many of these as I don't read much in the way of latin classics (and I despise camu)

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