Thanks for the notes and messages!

Many thanks to all of you who have sent birthday greetings!  Your notes are very much appreciated.

Also, belated thanks are due to the kind soul, JV of PA who used my wish list to send me the three volumes of Dante’s Divine Comedy in a new translation by Anthony Esolen.  They are in affordable paperbacks and have the wonderful advantage of the facing original Italian.  I have a couple wonderful Italian editions with facing modern Italian, but it is nice to have the English.  I haven’t started to drill into these yet, but I look forward to them.   If you are interested, you can get the Inferno here, Purgatory here, and Paradise here.  Far too many people look at some parts of the Inferno but don’t actually understand what Dante is trying to accomplish in the whole arc not only of that first part, but in the whole work.

Also, just in time for Pope Benedict’s new provisions for Anglicans, JH of MN sent me the music CD, Vol. 4 of the Complete New English HymnalThere are  This volume features the choir of Gloucester Cathedral. It was sent with a birthday greeting.  Thanks!   There are, I think, 10 volumes in the series and I have 1-5.  Every once in a while I add a few to the list. They are nice during the day when I am working.  It isn’t always Gregorian chant and polyphony folks!  Sometimes its English hymns and Chinese Opera.

In the meantime, at the feeder:

The bold Chickadees are in complete control together with their Nuthatch allies.

During the summer I beleive the Chickadees were on a cruise.  But they are back in large numbers.  I believe they may be my favorites.

This one is stylin’ for the Z-Cam


Penjing and Penzai have both, rumor has it, lost most of their leaves.  They are in seclusion and were unavailable for comment.  Irohamomiji, on the other hand, if it is to be believed is entirely beleaved.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Laurinda1230 says:

    I didn’t know it was your birthday and I’m happy that you posted about it! What are you doing to celebrate? And how many celebrations have you had? ‘wink’

  2. DebbieInCT says:

    Happy Birthday Fr. Z!

  3. Christina says:

    Happy Birthday, Fr. Z! You bring me courage and inspiration in many ways; right now, particularly because of your reading. My high school English teacher assigned us The Inferno oh-so-many years ago. I didn’t understand it then (possibly because I only skimmed it? nah…), and now that I re-read it and am somewhere near the Rein of Envy in Purgatorio, I still feel helplessly lost. I could use a Virgil.

  4. Mike says:

    Allen Mendelbaum’s translation of the Divine Comedy is excellent. It is readable and has EXCELLENT notes as well as the Italian on reverse pages. I am currently taking a class in the Divine Comedy and we use this translation. It is published by Bantam in three paperbacks as well as by Everyman’s Library (though there is no Italian in this version). I believe it is important to have good notes when reading the Comedy, otherwise you get lost in the countless historical references.

  5. Christina says:

    Mike: Yeah, the history is where I get lost in the John Ciardi version. I can’t really know where his translation stands in comparison with others, but I’m thinking I should have researched a bit more before buying.

  6. patergary says:

    God’s blessing on your Birthday Fr. Z. I will remember your intention when I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

  7. JohnW says:

    Father I want to wish you a happy birthday and a stolat ( Polish, for may you live a hundred years).

  8. Thanks for the greetings.

    ALL: Hitherto, I have looked at the Ciardi version of Dante, and read closely Pinsky’s Inferno. I think the best I have seen so far is Dorothy Sayers.

  9. Frank H says:

    In his talk at the recent Call to Holiness conference in Detroit, Fr. Z mentioned that the milestone 50th birthday was approaching.

    Happy 50th, Father!

  10. irishgirl says:

    I said it already on another post, but I’m going to say it here, too:

    Happy ‘BIG 5-0’, Fr. Z!

  11. MaryW says:

    Happy Birthday, Father Z! May God continue to bestow His blessings on you!

  12. Sandy says:

    Happy birthday, Father! God bless you, and thank you for all you do for us!

  13. Sandy says:

    PS I have missed the birds; thank you for this view – he’s so precious.

  14. thereseb says:

    Happy birthday, Father. I assume you will be counting the days now to the opportunity to obtain your baptismal indulgence.

  15. Supertradmom says:

    Happy Birthday Late, Father. I am sorry I missed it.

    As to Dante translations, I had an excellent class from an Italian professor at the graduate level many years ago at Notre Dame,(cry, sniffle for a lost university),and he claimed that the Dorothy Sayers translation was the most inaccurate, while the Ciardi and Sinclair were what we used in class, which was presented in Italian and English. I hear the Ciaran c
    Carson Inferno is good, but I have not read it.

  16. Supertradmom says:

    Apologies for the horrible typing, as I am trying to keep cats out of the chicken I am cooking while typing at the same time…doesn’t work…

  17. John UK says:

    A belated Happy Birthday from the U.K. Ad Multos Annos!

    Ahh.. The NEH {New English Hymnal]
    Great selection of tunes, including much plainsong. esoecially the office hymns and sequences, and the “Liturgical Section” nos.501 onwards, which includes The Advent Prose and Antiphons, The Reproaches, and the Russian Kontakion.
    I do not know if you have the printed copy, but beware the “and Editors” appearing against an author’s or translator’s name, which gives away a variation from the older words or translations to be found in the original English Hymnal. Smaller variations are indicated by an obelus or double-obelus against the name.Sometimes a verse or more of the original is omitted.

    With that small caveat, it remains one of the best hymn-books around today. No concessions to Bishop Trautman, I fear… see no.377 for a definition of ineffable, and for its use in a hymn, see 433!!
    And yet, the majestic translations here of the Office Hymns and Sequences by Coffin, Chandler, Neale, Riley,and others are, presumably, a demonstration of the “dynamic equivalence” method of translation, for word for would no longer fit the metre. But they maintain a fidelity to the Latin original, or in the words of this blog “A smoother translation”.

    Contra, Bishop Trautman, too, is the amazing breadth of knowledge of the Bible and Christian theology needed to fully appreciate the meanings of many of the hymns, which constantly hammer home the great truths of the Faith.
    Look, for example, not just at the hymns of Aquinas on the Eucharistic mystery: Pange lingua [268], Verbusm supernum prodiens [269], or Lauda Sion [521]but also Chatterton Dix’s Alleluya, sing to Jesus [271], or Bourne’s Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendour [296]. The seventeenth century Thomas Ken’s great hymn on the Assumption..182. The biblical knowledge needed to appreciate Oliver’s The God of Abraham Praise [148]…..

    But the topic of good and bad hymns, and the value of hymns, is a whole new topic.

    Enjoy, dear father, your natal day, and enjoy the CD.

    Best wishes,
    John U.K.

  18. Melody says:

    Happy Birthday Father!

    Hm, I wonder how to say that in Latin?

  19. Rouxfus says:

    I picked up in their remainder book section a wonderful hardbound edition of the Divine Comedy – a single volume (which helps the reader appreciate the complete arc) in a large coffee-table sized format with Longfellow’s poetic translation of the text along with August Doré’s classic engraved illustrations:

    You might find it cheaper in the bargain books section of a local barnes and noble, but $16.18 (the price is related to the golden mean) ain’t bad for such a beautiful and high quality hardbound classic.

  20. Many happy returns!

    I have ’em all – all the translations mentioned so far – plus the good recent Mark Musa version. I’m blogging my way through the whole thing in the Esolen translation in preparation for teaching a Dante course next academic year – come take a look!

    I’m enjoying the verse translation, and Esolen’s notes are quite Catholic – and usually very helpful. I have my differences, of course, but no one so great as Dante could call forth otherwise. Here’s a weirdness, though – have you ever seen an Inferno published without a diagram of Hell??

  21. Singing Mum says:

    Happy Birthday, Father Z!
    So glad you like the chickadees. That’s my husband’s nickname for me. :)

  22. LarryD says:

    Happy Birthday, Fr! I hope you had a slavishly decorated cake to celebrate!

  23. Larry: No cake. I did, however, have some oatmeal in the morning.

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