Monday, January 16, 2012

Everybody loves sun buddies

Munson & Griff (1)

Seeing Munson and Griff sunning themselves on the terrace drew me out to sit on the bench by the kitchen door, coffee in one hand, book in the other. 

Munson & Griff (2)  Snow nose
My presence distracts the reclining animals from their companionable slumbers. Griff decides he wants some of my coffee, and I find I can’t put it down without him scooting over to my mug. Meanwhile Munson wants to play with Griff, and is pawing and nibbling at him like some big old polar bear playing with a husky. The interaction of polar bear : dog : kitten is amazingly similar down the scale of size.

I notice that even with this mild daytime weather, Munson’s snow-nose is becoming more visible after dimming somewhat through the warmer months.

Les Mauvais RêvesThe only way I can get some reading done is to finish my coffee; Griff discovers that the charms of my now empty mug have all gone, so he slinks off. I’m left to finish off Les Mauvais Rêves, a reissue of the first story of spatio-temporal agent Valerian serialised back in the 60s. Despite being a comic book, a bande-dessinée or BD, the concentration of idiomatic dialogue is such that I can’t just skim through each frame as I might the subtitles of a film.

At first I could only manage about three pages in one go – stopping and starting to check the dictionary or a phrase translator. While the pictorial context can give me the gist of most of the conversation, I’m really trying to bed down some more French and to not miss any of the verbal humour. The first few pages were heavy with expository detail; as the tale proceeded there was less an less new vocabulary to absorb and I picked up some pace.

Les Mauvais Rêves is the first BD I’ve completed in French – no chance of “cheating” with this one as it’s never been translated into English. Less than half of the Valerian books have been translated over the 45 years they’ve appeared and I wouldn’t count on many of those being easy to find. Still that’s pretty good going, anyone conversant with English comic books would find little recognisable in the world of French BDs.

Fresh from my reading triumph, Brent invited us out to walk some of the fences to see where the electrification is shorting out. Even when the post mortem was done, Munson wasn’t too perturbed by it and was nonchalantly wriggling under the lower wire to check out rabbit tracks.

I walk the line

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, if only Callie and Bertie could do like Munson and Griff! Griff is the spitting image of Bert the cat. Callie still tries to bite Bert's appendages off whenever they encounter one another.