Akhmatova Post – Emily Evans

In our AT group, Skylar and Leen chose the Thomas translation, whereas Olivia and I chose the Anderson translation. I personally chose the Anderson translation because it felt natural, whereas the Thomas translation didn’t flow well. When comparing line by line, for example, Thomas said “Sons in irons and husband clay.” and Anderson said “Husband’s dead, and son’s in jail. When you pray tell God my tale.” Anderson’s word choice and rhyme scheme flows better than Thomas’s. Skylar said she liked Thomas’s work because she preferred its structure and word choice. She felt he used words with heavier connotations that had more of an impact on the reader than Anderson. Olivia said she preferred the Anderson translation because she said the translation felt organic, whereas the Thomas translation felt stiff. She said the Anderson piece eases into the rhyme scheme, which creates a sense of wholeness in her piece. Leen chose Thomas’s version because she said it seemed raw and gave the truth of the story rather than making it easier to read. She said her choice was likely influenced by her being bilingual, as it would be more important to understand the piece word-for-word rather than made-up to seem easier for English speakers. I put a ! and ? in the plenary response form.

Sam Heie: Unit 7, Assignment 1

My AT group discussed the similarities and differences we found between the two translations. We came to the consensus that Thomas’ translation was probably a more accurate portrayal of the original Russian used in the poem, but Anderson’s was adapted to the English poetic repertoire.

I think that the Anderson translation conveyed the message of the original poems in a more comprehendible way. The language was less obscure and I was able to interpret it. Thomas’ translation seemed to be representative of the original language, but it lacked the clarity of Anderson’s translation.

!: Broad censorship shows how important having an uncontested ideological monopoly was to maintain and preserve power.

?: What is it about Russian culture that idolizes poetry more so than other countries?

Unit 7 Post 1: Akhmatova Translations -Luna Jerjees

In reading the two translations of Requiem, I found myself drawn to Anderson’s translation due to its emotional resonance. The translation carried rhyme and aimed to flow a certain way. Given that I do not have the context of the original Russian writing, I can only infer that Anderson’s translation required interpretation by Anderson to achieve such sentiments. However, Thomas’s translation was elegant and sophisticated, in a way which I assume is much closer to the original text. I believe that both translations convey the message effectively despite the obvious differences.

In my AT group, we primarily discussed the differences we found between the two translations. We evaluated Thomas’s translation as much more sophisticated and direct translation of the original text and Anderson’s text as interpreted and personal. Thomas’s translation used direct language and imagery. We all agreed on the fact that Anderson likely translated for a native English speaker as seen in the language used, and Thomas took to translating directly from the original Russian.

We then talked about which translation is more effective, or if they each satisfy something completely different. We discussed topics such as if translation closer to the original text is more significant, or should we rely on the translator to interpret the writing?

! – Poets and authors were censored even before Stalin’s era. The Czarist era saw censorship for writing as well.

? – Some authors chose to write children’s books as a way to save themselves. However, as we were presented with, many left hidden messages in their books. How were these authors not persecuted by the regime?

Requiem Translations

by Lilliana Sandoval

Initially I believed that the Thomas translation made more sense to me because there wasn’t a lot of figurative language used. It also may have been easier to process because I had already read the Anderson translation. In our meeting the majority agreed that the Anderson translation seemed to be easier to understand ad more poetic. Due t it;s use of metaphors and rhymes. It seemed to be more of a direct translation and flowed better. Hearing my fellow humesters thoughts, I couldn’t help but agree with them .

?- how often was a poem past down by word of mouth and how much could it change from start to finish

!-the authorities coming for the poets and arresting them

Gardella: Monday March 30th Post

In my AT discussion with Alec, Nick, Luna, and Prescott, there were a lot of thought-provoking ideas comparing Anderson’s and Thomas’ translations of Requiem. When I first read the two versions, I felt that because Anderson had a rhyme scheme and a clearer plot, this text sacrificed the more intentional word choice that was seen in Thomas’. I am curious if the original work had a rhyme scheme and if Anderson chose to preserve this or to take artistic liberties and create a rhyme. Thomas’ translation had looser rhyming and thus, more impactful diction. It felt less like a summary and more metaphorical in retelling the narrative. As a group, we differed in personal preference of translations, however we agreed that Anderson seems to translate for a native English speaker, while Thomas seems to translate directly from the Russian. It’s an interesting debate which is more effective or closer to the original. Is it better to interpret a text and translate it according to what fits the confines of the English language? Or is it better to directly match the Russian vocabulary to English words, neglecting the overall meaning and instead focusing on diction? I ultimately think that each translation emphasizes certain elements of Akhmatova’s Requiem, so depending on what a reader is looking for, they can choose between the two. In the end, the truest translation of Akhmatova’s Requiem is her experience itself. Each translation is a further step away from the truth.

Unit 6 Post 2 by Kennedy M. Petties

“I felt was moving among two groups—comparable in intelligence, identical in race, not grossly different in social origin, earning about the same incomes, who had almost ceased to communicate at all, who in intellectual, moral and psychological climate had so little in common that instead of going from Burlington House or South Kensington to Chelsea, one might have crossed an ocean.” (Snow, 2)

! – Even today, we experience this divide of two cultures. Often students are either “a STEM person” or not. There aren’t tons of explicit majors or career paths that allow you to meld these both together, at least not in a direct way. The further you get into your major or the work you’re doing, the less you interact with the other culture. You have completely different professors, buildings you work in, and eventually, there’s even different places to live where your career will have more or less success.

“It is also, to be brutal, that the young scientists know that with an indifferent degree they’ll get a comfortable job, while their contemporaries and counterparts in English or History will be lucky to earn 60 percent as much. No young scientist of any talent would feel that he isn’t wanted or that his work is ridiculous, as did the hero of Lucky Jim, and in fact, some of the disgruntlement of Amis and his associates is the disgruntlement of the under-employed arts graduate.” (Snow, 18)

? – Why do we have so much more monetary and social respect for people who do scientific work? And how does this drive more people to go into fields that have no true passion for? If only a select few are willing to take the risk to create art or study history, how are we going to live the full human experience? A world without art – movies, galleries, photography, museums, music – does not appear to be one that would stimulate fulfillment in a significant portion of the human population.

Which of the Top 10 Scientific Theories and Experiments did you recognize?

Theories: Oxygen Theory of Combustion, Plate Tectonics, Evolution by Natural Selection, Heliocentrism

Experiments: Eratosthenes Measures the World, Gregor Mendel Cultivates Genetics, Marie Curie’s Work Matters, Ivan Pavlov Salivates at the Idea, Robert Paine Stressed Starfish

Unit 6 2/17 Alex Weinman

  1. Snow sees an increase in scientific religious believers, specifically young scientists, post-WW2! 
    1. “There are plenty of [scientists] who are religious, and that seems to be increasingly so among the young” (Snow, 10)
  2. Why would social forms (power dynamics) actually increase in English as economic inequalities are mitigated? 
    1. “The other is our tendency to let our social forms crystallise. This tendency appears to get stronger, not weaker, the more we iron out economic inequalities.” (Snow, 17)

Theories I recognized: 

  1. Game Theory 
  2. Plate Tectonics
  3. Special Relativity 
  4. Natural Selection
  5. Heliocentrism  

Experiments I recognized: 

  1. Pavlov Dog Experiment

Mary Shandley Unit 6 Assignment 2

! : Snow himself makes his writing non-inclusive by dropping the names of people he assumes the reader has heard of – mentioning, for example, the possibility of there being “a new Kyd or a new Greene” without clarifying who the original Kyd and Greene are (Snow 4). He thereby still limits the conversation to elitist academics, even in his mission to erase stigma and open up communication, both between the two polarized groups and with the general public.

? : This argument was made in 1959. Would it still be valid today? Has any progress been made in the enhancement of interdisciplinary relationships, or are Western intellectuals just as “split between two polar groups” as they were sixty years ago? (Snow 3).

Out of the Top 10 scientific experiments, I have heard of those performed by Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Ivan Pavlov, and Robert Paine. A solid five out ten. Out of the Top 10 scientific theories, I have heard of six out of the ten: game theory, plate tectonics, general relativity, quantum theory, and evolution by natural selection, and heliocentrism.

Unit 6 Post 2 – Sam Van Horn

“Most of our fellow human beings, for instance, are underfed and die before their time. In the crudest terms, that is the social condition” (Snow, 6).

? – Do you think C.P. Snow would value our inclusion of science in the Humanities course?

! – I feel that C.P. Snow’s writing is destructive for his readers as they are left with existential thoughts rather than a comprehensive message. Additionally, he talks a bit about ‘literary comprehensibility’ in relation to Dickens’ works, though he then talks about ‘valued writers’ and why this literary culture is held in high regard to society.

Top 10 Revolutionary Scientific Theories Recognized

  • Game Theory
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Theory of Relativity
  • Evolution of Natural Selection
  • Theory of Heliocentrism

Top 10 Science Experiments Recognized

  • Mendel and his peas
  • Marie Curie and Radioactivity
  • Pavlovian Conditioning

Preston Ito Monday Post 2/17: Snow

?- “They give a pitying chuckle at the news of scientists who have never read a major work of English literature. They dismiss them as ignorant specialists. Yet their own ignorance and their own specialization is just as startling.” (14)

This makes me wonder what Snow considered himself to be. Snow provides criticisms for both and also talks about the dangers of splitting in to two groups. That being said, I still feel like there are some practical reasons why one would choose to categorize themselves. Furthermore, the solutions that he provides is very vague. I don’t quite understand what “rethinking our education” means.

!- “Compared with the rest of the intellectual world, considerably more scientists in this country and probably in the U.S. come from poor families.” (10)

I understand most of the generalizations that Snow points out between scientists and literary intellectuals. I feel like this statement comes out of nowhere. This statement doesn’t have much backing evidence. Not only that, but I feel like that’s just not true. I’d always imagined that people who are exceptional in the sciences come from a richer background.

Theories I Recognized

  • Heliocentrism
  • Evolution by natural selection
  • Plate techtonics
  • Quantum theory

Experiments I Recognized

  • Robert Millikan electron
  • Pavlov’s dogs

Unit 6 Assignment 2 – Jake Matthews

! – The individual condition is tragic, but that does not mean that the social condition has to be! “Each of us is alone: sometimes we escape from solitariness, through love or affection or perhaps creative moments, but those triumphs of life are pools of light we make for ourselves while the edge of the road is black: each of us dies alone.” (6)

? – Why was Dickens the author that became the cornerstone of literary analysis in the minds of scientists? “We thought that discovery, that Dickens had been transformed into the type-specimen of literary incomprehensibility, was one of the oddest results of the whole exercise.” (12)

On the theories side, I recognize the concept of Plate tectonics (Alfred Wegener and J. Tuzo Wilson), Special relativity and General relativity (Albert Einstein), Evolution by natural selection (Charles Darwin), and Heliocentrism (Copernicus).

For the experiments, I recognized Gregor Mendel’s work with genetic inheritance and fuchsias, and Ivan Pavlov’s experiments with classical conditioning on dogs drooling over food and other conditioned stimuli.

Unit 6, Assignment 2- Erin Simard


As he notes on page 16, I have found that the most interesting courses I have taken have existed in the space where literature/the humanities and the sciences meet. There is so much more to learn about where these two “poles” collide, and I’m alarmed that Snow believes that the damage already done is irreparable. (page 16)


How do we mend a divide that has become engrained in both the literary and scientific cultures? Is it only like this in Western cultures? (page 17)

I also recognized 8 of the top ten revolutionary scientific theories (to my surprise)!

Unit Six Assignment One

By: Caison Gray

I found it interesting how Snow suggested education reform as a solution to the polarity of the two cultures. The text was written in 1959 but the education system still seems more specialized in England than in the United States today. Also, Snow blames England’s “tendency to let social forms crystallise,” meaning that Snow believes England is slow when it comes to giving in to cultural changes (17)

“That total incomprehension gives, much more, pervasiley than we realise, living it, an unscientific flavor to the whole “traditional” culture, and that unscientific flavor is often, much more than we admit, on the point of turning anti-scientific.” I am confused by this quote because I genuinely do not understand what it is saying. My poor interpretation is that things we do not typically associate with science are more closely affiliated with it than we think. I feel like this is an important section within in the text and need to better understand it (11) 

Scientific Theories that I recognized:

Special Relativity Albert Einstein, 1905

General Relativity, Albert Einstein, 1915

Evolution by Natural Selection, Charles Darwin, 1859

Heliocentrism, Copernicus, 1543

Scientific Experiments that I recognized:

“Gregor Mendel Cultivates Genetics”

“Issac Newton Eye Optics”

Marie Curie Radioactivity

“Ivan Pavlov Salivates at the Idea”

Monday 2/17 post-River Meng

Observation from Snow’s “Two Cultures”: On page 8 of his article/lecture, Snow argues that “literature changes more slowly than science” for it “hasn’t the same automatic corrective”. This is an interesting point that I’ve thought about before and it’s nice to see someone resonate with me here. In my opinion, there is a certain object standard within science that makes it more “changable” compared to the subjective standards used in most of the non-science subjects.

Question: As science/technology advance rapidly nowadays, are the roles of traditionally non-science subjects being reduced?

Out of the top 10 revolutionary scientific theories, I recognized the Game Theory, Wegener’s Plate Tectonics, Special Relativity, General Relativity, Quantum Theory, Evolution, and Heliocentrism.

Out of the top 10 scientific experiments, I recognized Mendel’s Genetic experiment, Marie Curie’s work on radioactivity, and Ivan Pavlov’s experiment with the dog.

Unit 6 post 1 Harrison Sparks

!: The following quote surprised me “Compared with the rest of the intellectual world, considerable more scientists in this country and probably the U.S. come from poor families.” p. 10

?: Why do the scientific and literary community need to be closer in the first place?

Of the theories, I recognized General Relativity, Quantum Theory, Evolution, and Heliocentrism.

Of the experiments, I recognized Mendel’s Genetics, Curie’s Radioactivity, Millikan’s Charge, Light Waves,