Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Roland's Abridgment of Plato's "Apology."


In the world of Philosophy, few figures are more prominent than Plato. His body of work, the most important of which is obviously "The Republic of Plato," has set the course of philosophical thinking from the moment they were committed to paper. It has been said, in fact, that all philosophical thinking since has been merely answering Plato, either in the affirmative or negative. "Apology" is one of his shorter works, and is easily accessible to those who wish to begin studying the thoughts of this incredible thinker. However, in this time of intellectual poverty, even the shortest of the classics demand abridgment for American audiences. I am nothing more than a student, merely twenty-eight years in age, and it takes a great deal of arrogance on my part to suggest that I can condense the mastery of Plato's words into something that can be digested by modern audiences. However, it needs to be done, and no one else is doing it. Therefore, it is with excitement that I present to you, the modern reader, my abridgment of Plato's "Apology."

A Note on the Translation

I have spent countless hours pouring over this work in the original, and trying to transfer the basic components into our language. The point of any translation is to transmit, with as little deviation as possible, the author's intent. Certain sacrifices must be made in an abridgment, however, and with a heavy heart there are beautiful ideas such as I have rarely, if ever, seen in modern works, that had to be left out of this edition. They are there, available for those who wish to pursue the work further, as I would like any readers of this text to do, in any decent library and bookstore. What I have done is attempt to use the simplest language possible to convey the meaning of this text, so that any poetry that I have been tempted to include has been taken out. The language, clear, precise, without adornments, is the ultimate endpoint of art, and I do believe that this translation and abridgment would find favor with the poet William Carlos Williams, who's work is equal to this abridgment, if not, as I sincerely believe, even surpassed by it. I hope that the clarity of the language used leaves no misinterpretation possible, and that, upon further readings, the brilliance of this work will pierce into your hearts, as a heavy deluge of small droplets of water will pierce even the toughest edifices.

Roland's Abridgment of Plato's "Apology."
Copyright 2008.


I'm sorry.


I would like to thank the Hacienda/La Puente Unified School District for their fantastic job in educating me, making sure that I had all the leisure in the world to pursue my intellectual endeavors, never once stifling my thirst for knowledge by handing out needless assignments, or homework that was too difficult, or required any length of time to complete. Also, I would like to thank the culture in which I was raised, which constantly questions any kind of intellectual thinking, making it necessary to defend yourself and explain why you bother to read books written by dead white males or anyone else for that matter. I do not think it is for any other reason than that the average person is testing intellectual vigor, and that the majority of my fellow Americans are brilliant beyond words, and that this is a continuous test of durability. In my heart of hearts, I believe that all Americans, from the states lining the oceans to the dry dusty spaces in-between, have snugly next to their Bibles editions of Shakespeare and the works of Plato, much like they did in revolutionary times. We are a culture of secret readers and hidden intellectual ability, and that rugged individualism is what makes this country great. Also, I have mentioned him earlier, but I would like to thank William Carlos Williams, who proves that poetry doesn't need fancy language, a good sense of rhythm, any kind of reference, or any kind of meaning, to be good. His work stands, much like the playful colorings of a toddler, the hypnotic mosaic of bird-droppings underneath lampposts, or the simple scrawls of graffiti which beautifully adorn stop signs and private property, as a testament that art does not have to mean anything at all for people to enjoy it. I applaud his works, and may his message of simplicity echo forever in our art!

About the Author

Roland lives in Hickory Heights, California. He has previously been published in The Ocelot (the school newspaper for Orange Grove Jr. High) and Dork Magazine, received an AA Degree from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, and a BA in Linguistics at California State University, Fullerton. He is currently famous for appearing in Scott Douglas' best-selling library memoir "Quiet Please" (De Capo Press). His work has been praised by his Creative Writing professors and by his peers, which include musician Chonk, master of collage Sofia Zonk, and the historian Nelissa Fitzgerald. He works as a Library Technician, and is currently working on a modernization of "The Canterbury Tales." Roland's translation and abridgment of Plato's "Apology" is the beginning of a project to bring the Classics of literature to modern readers. His next project in this vein is to translate James Joyce's novel "Finnegans Wake" into English.


cherrybomb said...

Your best translation thus far!

But what do you expect from a Cum Laude graduate

noel said...

Roland! Don't know if you're still updating this site, but it has amused me to no end for the last half hour. I stumbled upon it when I was googling "Plato's Apology" AND "I'm sorry." That piece has stuck with me all these many years due to its sheer hilarity. Just purchased your ebook on amazon. It was a steal at .99. This is Noel, by the way. Hope you're doing well, man.