Posts by Blaine Harper

Marcel Schwob’s “Mimes” – Mime II and III

A man masquerading as a woman to sell eels – children begging with a wooden bird – Blaine Harper takes up Asymptote's "Mimes" project!

Read all the posts in Asymptote’s “Mimes” translation project here

Mime II. The False Merchant

A. I will have you beaten, yes—beaten with sticks. Your skin will be covered with spots like a nursemaid’s tunic. —Slaves, bring her over; strike her stomach first; flip her over like a flounder and strike her back. Listen to her; do you hear the sounds of her tongue? —Will you not cease, ill-fated woman?

B. And what have I done, to be brought to the sycophants?

A. Here we have a cat who has stolen nothing, then; she wants to digest at her leisure and rest comfortably. —Slaves, take these fish away in your baskets. —Why were you selling lampreys, when the magistrates have prohibited it?

B. I was unaware of that ordinance.

A. Did the town crier not announce it loudly in the marketplace, commanding: “Silence”?

B. I did not hear the “silence.”

A. You mock the orders of the city, strumpet! —This woman aspires to tyranny. Strip her, that I may see if she is a Peisistratid-in-hiding. —Aha! You were female not long ago. Now look, now look! This is a new sort of marketwoman! Did the fish prefer you that way, or rather the customers? —Leave this young man stark naked: the heliasts will decide if he will be punished for selling prohibited fish in the stalls, disguised as a woman.