December 21st, 2005


pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo

Here Catullus is concerned with the power relations between poet and reader, and he begins with a phallic threat that reverses the position that Furius and Aurelius, as readers of Catullus’ titillating verse, have adopted in relation to the poet who speaks in the style of an effeminate:
Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
quod surit molliculi, parum pudicum.

I’ll bugger you and make you eat it,
Aurelius you queer and Furius you pansy,
who read my verses and concluded,
because they’re soft, that I’m not straight. (16.1-4)
Catullus claims that his performance turns his audience into excitable pathics. His verses have charm and bite only
si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici,
et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
non dico pueris, sed his pilosis
qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos. (8-11)

if they’re a little soft and not quite straight,
and can incite a tingling,
not in boys, I say, but in these hairy types,
whose stiff flanks don’t know how to undulate.
Collapse )
    — William Fitzgerald, Catullan Provocations: Lyric Poetry and the Drama of Position (Classics and Contemporary Thought, 1), University of California Press (November, 1999), pp. 49-50

may bears gobble me

In honor of the winter solstice marking [info]larvatus’ first anniversary on LiveJournal, your host offers this valediction to all literary consumers:
amat qui scribit, pedicatur qui legit,
qui auscultat prurit, pathicus est qui praeterit.
ursi me comedant et ego verpam qui lego.
Who writes loves, who reads is reamed,
who listens itches, who walks by is a catcher.
May bears gobble me, and I who read, a boner.
― translated by MZ