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Inside an Engineering Student’s Quest to Translate Emily Dickinson Into Kurdish

Editor's Note:

In today’s roundup: a lost Walt Whitman novel resurfaces, a famous vampire hunter gets a second chance, and more! It’s your Daily Blunt.

Madeh Piryonesi is only 25 years old, but the University of Toronto engineering student is already changing the face of global literature with his quest to translate the works of Emily Dickinson into Kurdish, a language he associates with his childhood in Iran. Having already published two Kurdish volumes of Dickinson’s work,  and feels strongly that her poems’ universal themes will appeal to readers in Iran and Iraq, where his translations can be found in bookstores: “Emily’s raising questions which are really important, some have been around for centuries, like questions about life, about death.”

Meanwhile, a student at the University of Houston unearthed a previously-unread novel by Walt Whitman entitled The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, known to past scholars only in the form of a lengthy synopsis found in the poet’s notebooks. The book has been published online by the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, which is offering it for free. Zachary Turpin, who discovered the lost work, describes it as “a fun, rollicking, creative, twisty, bizarre little book.”

Not even Hugh Jackman could save the 2004 “Van Helsing” film from becoming one of the new century’s most notoriously disappointing films — and that’s already proven to be a hard category to stand out in. Now it’s slated for a reboot timed with the other Universal monster movie releases, such as Tom Cruise’s “The Mummy,” and screenwriter Eric Heisserer swears that his intent is to create a vampire hunter movie that’s actually, you know, scary — “Partly because I know how to do that,” he tells Collider, “And also because when you’re the only human surrounded by a bunch of supernatural creatures, that’s gotta be absolutely unnerving.” Do kids even think vampires are scary anymore? Post-Twilight, anyone that devoted to hunting them might just seem like a jerk.

Here’s some light reading that you might find appetizing: this collection of historical menus reveals how drastically Americans’ palates have changed in the last century, and how limited our range of options has become, especially when it comes to cuts of meat. Dominoes of Tongue, anybody? These menus mainly demonstrate that while our definition of “adventurous” dining has changed quite drastically, our craving for novelty and adventure at the dinner table is very deeply ingrained. And now a practical question: how on earth does one choose between five different species of duck?