The Marmot with the Collar
Diary of a Philosopher

Conrad Gessner’s Thierbuch (1563) provides the masthead for our work to restore the Tablets of the Philosophical Marmot to readers of today.

Preface

The Snake’s Head presents a neglected classic of nineteenth century Swiss literature, Eugène Rambert’s La marmotte au collier (1889), together with its German translation by Rambert’s fellow Swiss, Alfred Graber, Das Murmeltier mit dem Halsband (1929). For the first time the Tablets of the Philosophical Marmot appear also in English.

 

This is a project born of the ongoing pandemic (2020). I encountered Rambert’s little work some twenty years ago aboard a train from Oxford to Chamonix Mont-Blanc. However, it is only the suspension of air travel between Malawi and Europe that has allowed the otium of a Long Vacation to attempt this edition and translation.

 

The Philosophical Marmot has proved agreeable company as I have reclined on my khonde amidst the twilight of the Eton of Africa, meditating, as he once did, the increase of all that is base in the world and the dwindling of what is civilised and good. He is, by turns, irascible and cheerful, outrageous and a model of sound reason, intolerably pompous and touching in his temporary defeats, but endearing alway in his irrepressible Marmot-ness and ever a protrepticon to the Consolation of Philosophy. There is within the Tablets, so I like to think, a fine introduction to the characteristic thought of the Presocratics, but also much on the construction of burrows, the importance of friendship and the allurement of mountains and flowers (not only to eat).

 

Both Titivillus and distance from a French library will have left their mark. However, I think it best to publish this now in draft and to revise over the next few months. The Appendices will increase in number as commitment elsewhere affords leisure for Marmotology.

 

RLH

 

Kamuzu Academy, Malawi
Feast of the Assumption (Dry Moon, Fourth Day of the Last Quarter) 2020

Edition

Work in Progress

DRAFT

Last revision:

2020.09.08 (Texts & Appendices)

La marmotte au collier

E. Rambert
Lausanne (1889)

Das Murmeltier mit dem Halsband

A. Graber
Munich (1929)

The Marmot with the Collar

R. L. Hewitt
Mtunthama (2020)

PART I

Partie I / Teil I

FRANÇAIS

 

Click on "le déjeuner de marmotte" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the First Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are ASTER.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

DEUTSCH

 

Click on "das Murmeltier-frühstück" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the First Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are SAXIFRAGE.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

ENGLISH

 

Click on "the luncheon of a marmot" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the First Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are GENTIAN.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

Clover Moon

Lune du trèfle / Kleemond
M.01.04.04.01 / M.001 - M.01.04.04.04 / M.003
Part 01.01 (Français)
Part 01.01 (Deutsch)
Part 01.01 (English)

Dry Moon

Lune sèche / Trockenmond
M.01.05.01.01 / M.004 - M.01.05.04.07 / M.020
Part 01.02 (Français)
Part 01.02 (Deutsch)
Part 01.02 (English)

Moon of Fatness

Lune de graisse / Fetter Mond
M.01.06.01.02 / M.021 - M.01.06.04.07 / M.035
Part 01.03 (Français)
Part 01.03 (Deutsch)
Part 01.03 (English)

Unhappy Moon

Lune triste / Trauermond
M.01.07.01.01 / M.036 - M.01.07.03.04d / M.057
Part 01.04 (Français)
Part 01.04 (Deutsch)
Part 01.04 (English)

PART II

Partie II / Teil II

FRANÇAIS

 

Click on "le déjeuner de marmotte" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the Second Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are ASTER.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

DEUTSCH

 

Click on "das Murmeltier-frühstück" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the Second Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are SAXIFRAGE.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

ENGLISH

 

Click on "the luncheon of a marmot" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the Second Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are GENTIAN.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

Moon of Avalanches

Lune des avalanches / Lawinenmond
M.02.01.03.07 / M.058 - M.02.01.04.07 / M.062
Part 02.01 (Français)
Part 02.01 (Deutsch)
Part 02.01 (English)

Moon of Love

Lune d'amour / Liebesmond
M.02.02.01.06 / M.063 - M.02.02.04.07 / M.085
Part 02.02 (Français)
Part 02.02 (Deutsch)
Part 02.02 (English)

Withered Moon

Lune flétrie / Magerer Mond
M.02.03.01.01 / M.086 - M.02.03.04.07 / M.101
Part 02.03 (Français)
Part 02.03 (Deutsch)
Part 02.03 (English)

Clover Moon

Lune du trèfle / Kleemond
M.02.04.01.02 / M.102 - M.02.04.04.07 / M.119
Part 02.04 (Français)
Part 02.04 (Deutsch)
Part 02.04 (English)

Dry Moon

Lune sèche / Trockenmond
M.02.05.01.01 / M.120 - M.02.05.03.04 / M.131
Part 02.05 (Français)
Part 02.05 (Deutsch)
Part 02.05 (English)

Moon of Fatness

Lune de graisse / Fetter Mond
M.02.06.01.01 / M.132 - M.02.06.03.07 / M.146
Part 02.06 (Français)
Part 02.06 (Deutsch)
Part 02.06 (English)

[Unhappy Moon]

[Lune triste] / Trauermond
M.02.07.01.01 / M.147 - M.02.07.03.04b / M.163
Part 02.07 (Français)
Part 02.07 (Deutsch)
Part 02.07 (English)

PART III

Partie III / Teil III

FRANÇAIS

 

Click on "le déjeuner de marmotte" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the Third Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are ASTER.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

DEUTSCH

 

Click on "das Murmeltier-frühstück" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the Third Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are SAXIFRAGE.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

ENGLISH

 

Click on "the luncheon of a marmot" (vide infra) to read the Diary of the Third Summer from Moon to Moon.

 

The flowers on the menu are GENTIAN.

 

In addition, a .pdf version of these Tablets is available here.

Moon of Avalanches

Lune des avalanches / Lawinenmond
M.03.01.03.03 / M.164 - M.03.01.04.07 / M.174
Part 03.01 (Français)
Part 03.01 (Deutsch)
Part 03.01 (English)

Moon of Love

Lune d'amour / Liebesmond
M.03.02.01.01a / M.175 - M.03.02.04.06 / M.203
Part 03.02 (Français)
Part 03.02 (Deutsch)
Part 03.02 (English)

Withered Moon

Lune flétrie / Magerer Mond
M.03.03.01.05 / M.204 - M.03.03.04.01 / M.220
Part 03.03 (Français)
Part 03.03 (Deutsch)
Part 03.03 (English)

Thanks

Dr. Stephen Marsh (qd. Kamuzu Academy) and Mr. Tomali Banda (Kamuzu Academy) kindly assisted with details in the French.

 

Mr. Barnaby Probert (Plymouth) proved an indefatigable collaborator in the search after the identity of the flora known to the Philosophical Marmot.

 

He also read a draft of the English translation.

 

The Diary is illustrated from the Wellcome Collection (London), AstroPixels (Arizona) and the Albertina (Vienna).

E. Rambert: La marmotte au collier (1889)

The Marmot with the Collar
A Trilingual Edition

Richard L. Hewitt
Kamuzu Academy, Malawi

2020