Autumn has arrived very early this year, with its quota of draughts in the office, and consequent colds and chills and air-conditioner wars. I am rather preoccupied with some work-related nuisance of just this kind, so don’t expect too much from me for a bit. But things are moving slowly forward anyway.
I’ve been corresponding with Dr Mary B. Cunningham of Nottingham University, who has translated a number of pieces by Andrew of Crete. I had hoped that she might translate Andrew’s Encomium on St Nicholas of Myra, but sadly she is otherwise engaged. That is perhaps unsurprising at the start of a new academic year!
However she has given me the name of a gentleman who might be interested and qualified to do it instead. So I have written this evening to offer a commission to him. Let’s hope that it works out. The work is about 11 pages of Anrich, so far from huge (thankfully).
I have also commissioned a translation of another piece by Severian of Gabala: CPG 4201, “In illud: Quomodo scit litteras (John 7:15)”, text in PG 59. 643-652 = Montfaucon; Savile edition, vol. 5, 752-761. This is rather more meaty. But I am hoping to use the translator for the Greek side of several works by Methodius of Olympus preserved in Old Slavonic, so I do need to know that she can handle the task.
The application for grant money to translate two large works of Methodius of Olympus from Old Slavonic (and Greek where it exists) is stalled until I have sorted out a Greek translator. However one query on the form was resolved this week by a query to the grant body. But I need to revisit the form entirely – my answers are rather waffly at the moment, and not especially focused on answering the specific question.
Methodius “on the Leech” is still on my hard disk, and the subject of some debate between the translators of the Greek and the Slavonic. I will try to finalise this in a few days, depending on the crud at work.
A prediction of mine, that the availability of online PDFs would lead to libraries selling off their physical books, appears to be coming true. A correspondent drew my attention to this item. A book dealer in Oxford is advertising a complete set of the printed 19th century Patrologia Latina, all 221 volumes of it (!), for £6,000 (about $9,000). The source is “an English cathedral library”. The volumes have apparently hardly been opened; probably the library never allowed clergy to look at them without onerous conditions. Now … they’ve been sold off. Clerical libraries have often been knocked down for cash in times of decay, such as our own, to the rage and chagrin of subsequent generations, and it seems those days have come again.
But did they get very much money for it? Well, I myself once sold a load of patristic books to that bookseller. I can tell you that I got really very little money for them (but I did get the blasted things off the floor). We may sure that the cathedral got much less than the sum demanded; probably a couple of thousand, if that. Ten pounds per volume?
But we may wonder who might have the shelf-space for such an item? And … considering that they are all online, why would anyone buy it?