[Ads-l] Request help with Russian passage in ABC book by Leo Tolstoy
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 22 19:44:15 EDT 2018
Perhaps a list member can provide a translation for a short passage
that appears in a Russian school book titled Azbuka. I'd also like to
obtain an accurate version of the Cyrillic text (the OCR text is poor
quality). The passage mentions bald men fighting over a comb. It
occurs on page 48 of an ABC book created by Leo Tolstoy and published
in 1874. Here is a link:
Here is some background: I've been asked to trace the figurative
language employed by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. Here is a
citation for his remark:
[ref] 1983 February 9, The Miami News, Quote unquote (filler item),
Quote Page 1, Column 1, Miami, Florida. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]
Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, 83, on the Falklands War: "The
Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb."
The ABC book was revised and republished as Novaya Azbuka. Here is a
citation and excerpt for an English rendition of the pertinent story
published in 1899:
[ref] 1899 Copyright, The Complete Works of Lyof N. Tolstoi: The Long
Exile, Master and Man, The Kreutzer Sonata, Dramas, Section: From The
New Speller (Novaya Azbuka), Story 12: The Book, Start Page 159, Quote
Page 159 and 160, The Kelmscott Society Publishers, New York. (Google
Books Full View) link [/ref]
XII THE BOOK
Two men together found a book in the street, and began to dispute as
to the ownership of it.
A third happened along and asked:--
"Which of you can read?"
"Neither of us."
"Then why do you want the book? Your quarrel reminds me of two bald
men who fought for possession of a comb, when neither had any hair on
H. L Mencken referred to the tale in his massive 1942 compendium:
[ref] 1942, A New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles
from Ancient and Modern Sources, Selected and Edited by H. L. Mencken
(Henry Louis Mencken), Topic: Futility, Quote Page 441, Alfred A.
Knopf. New York. (Verified on with hardcopy)[/ref]
Two baldhead men are fighting over a comb.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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