Random Literature Thread

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Yasna
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Yasna » 2019-08-12, 20:27

linguoboy wrote:Do you have a favourite African-American fiction author?

I think she's the only one I've read.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-14, 3:34

Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Do you have a favourite African-American fiction author?

I think she's the only one I've read.

Didn't you read any at any point in school? The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines? "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker? Virginia Hamilton? Zora Neale Hurston?

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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-08-14, 15:26

vijayjohn wrote:
Yasna wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Do you have a favourite African-American fiction author?

I think she's the only one I've read.

Didn't you read any at any point in school? The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines? "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker? Virginia Hamilton? Zora Neale Hurston?

I was having this discussion with a coworker recently and I don't think we read a single African-American fiction author in high school. We barely read any white female authors. (The only one who comes to mind is Katherine Anne Porter.)
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Yasna » 2019-08-14, 22:08

vijayjohn wrote:Didn't you read any at any point in school? The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines? "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker? Virginia Hamilton? Zora Neale Hurston?

None of those ring a bell, but it's possible we read some short story that just didn't stick with me.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-08-15, 0:10

I read at least a few novels by African-American authors in school. There was definitely "Native Son" by Richard Wright, and I'm pretty sure I read "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis and "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor. We also read the play "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-23, 22:43

Yasna wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Didn't you read any at any point in school? The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines? "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker? Virginia Hamilton? Zora Neale Hurston?

None of those ring a bell, but it's possible we read some short story that just didn't stick with me.

To be fair, I didn't remember most of those names myself. Maybe I also should've mentioned "Sweet Potato Pie" by Eugenia Collier and this (which I read by choice). I know my brother had to read Gaines and Hurston, and I had to read Collier and Walker and read Hamilton by choice out of his English literature textbook. All the ones I read were short stories (except for the Dear America diary. I bought it out of a small assortment of books at the library in elementary school that we were required to pick from. The Dear America diaries were almost the only literature there that I found to be worth reading).

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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-09-12, 15:15

Last night during a bout of insomnia, I went to my old To-Read shelf, took down Hardy's The Mayor of Castlebridge, and flipped to a random page. It just so happened to be a discussion of one character's attempts to wean herself off the local dialect and two of the expressions she had successfully managed to stop using were "dumbledore" and "hag-rid".

I'm not sure what to do with this information.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-09-13, 5:14

linguoboy wrote:Last night during a bout of insomnia, I went to my old To-Read shelf, took down Hardy's The Mayor of Castlebridge, and flipped to a random page. It just so happened to be a discussion of one character's attempts to wean herself off the local dialect and two of the expressions she had successfully managed to stop using were "dumbledore" and "hag-rid".

I'm not sure what to do with this information.

That is fun isn't it? Supposedly it is the source of Dumbledore's name, and J.K. Rowling hasn't said that Hagrid's name came from the same source, but... well... probably! :mrgreen:

Literary Allusion in Harry Potter
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Hardy Influencing Rowling

This article says:
Rowling explicitly noted in interview (in 2000) that Thomas Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge was the source for Dumbledore’s name. It is a traditional Dorset name for bumblebee and she has noted that she chose it because he is a musical person and she imagined him humming to himself all the time (like a bee’s buzzing!): ‘I chose it because my image is of this benign wizard, always on the move, humming to himself’ (Rowling, 2002). There is also the sound of the word: Dumbledore’s name is another example of Rowling’s excellence at cratylic naming. The sound of the name evokes a friendly dependability – the repeated ‘d’ sounds solid and reliable, the soft ‘um’ sounds warm – and it ‘sounds endearing and strangely impressive at the same time’ (Rowling, 2002). She first came across the word by reading this passage in Hardy, in which Elizabeth-Jane has to ‘unlearn’ her native dialect in order to please her new father and appear more genteel:

One grievous failing of Elizabeth’s was her occasional pretty and picturesque use of dialect words–those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel… in time it came to pass … that she no longer spoke of ‘dumbledores’ but of ‘humble bees’… that when she had not slept she did not quaintly tell the servants next morning that she had been ‘hag-rid,’ but that she had ‘suffered from indigestion.

As you can see Hagrid’s name turns up here too – it feels like a little gift left unmentioned by Rowling for those who choose to retrace her steps! I think this source also gives these names a more important significance than simply their sound and sense. Rowling’s Wizarding world, the world of Hagrid and Dumbledore, is being identified here with a native dialect. Elizabeth-Jane’s childhood, her authentic self and these names therefore connect the Wizarding World with something of this native, imaginative space, free from the repressive strictures of the Henchards and Dursley’s of this world (both ‘adoptive’ families in which the hero/heroine find themselves are obsessed with and deeply stressed by keeping up appearances; and hence try and stamp out the protagonist’s true nature.)


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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-09-21, 5:22

My mom's going to India in about two months and won't be back until sometime at the beginning of next year. Maybe I can get her to buy me a few more issues of the Mathrubhumi weekly magazine so I have some more short stories, novellas, or excerpts from novels (and of course articles, which often seem pretty pointless, to be honest) to read in Malayalam. We have tons of novels lying around here, but I'm hesitant to start one because it usually takes me a long time to finish a novel in Malayalam.

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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Yasna » 2019-10-15, 20:03

The first volume of Liu Cixin's 三体 (The Three-Body Problem) was recently released in Japan, and is enjoying great sales. This despite having flopped in South Korea, which was considered a bad omen for the Japanese release because of the broadly overlapping consumer preferences of the two markets. In the article I was reading about all this, they mention that the Japanese version of 三体 was created by translating the English translation of the book into Japanese. That just blows my mind. What kind of cavalier disregard for accuracy does it take to make such a publishing decision when there is no doubt an adequate supply of Chinese>Japanese translators.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-10-22, 16:59

Yasna wrote:What kind of cavalier disregard for accuracy does it take to make such a publishing decision when there is no doubt an adequate supply of Chinese>Japanese translators.

Could the logic have been that the Korean version was translated from Chinese and flopped, but the English version didn't, so better to translate from English than Chinese?
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Osias » 2019-10-23, 10:37

Wait, what?
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-10-23, 14:16

What's confusing you? Yasna was talking about a Chinese novel. He said it did badly in South Korea, so Japanese publishers(?) thought maybe it would do badly in Japan, too. He also complained about the fact that the Japanese version is translated from the English translation instead of directly from Chinese. Then linguoboy suggested that maybe the version that did badly in South Korea was a Korean version that was directly translated from Chinese, so maybe the Japanese felt that translating directly from Chinese was a mistake that would affect sales badly. He was saying this could explain why they translated it from English instead. (Besides, maybe there are other versions that were also translated from English that did better than the Korean version did. Maybe that could have been a further incentive to translate from English instead of directly from Chinese).

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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Osias » 2019-10-23, 17:59

vijayjohn wrote:maybe the Japanese felt that translating directly from Chinese was a mistake that would affect sales badly

I think this is a weird thing for the Japanese to think. It verges on superstition. But I don't think Linguoboy would suggest that out of the blue, there must be copious examples of things like that working out in the market.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-10-23, 19:03

Osias wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:maybe the Japanese felt that translating directly from Chinese was a mistake that would affect sales badly

I think this is a weird thing for the Japanese to think. It verges on superstition. But I don't think Linguoboy would suggest that out of the blue, there must be copious examples of things like that working out in the market.

I don't know about "copious", but publishers do make some odd decisions sometimes, especially with translations.
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby Osias » 2019-10-23, 19:10

Yay, no mistakes! :woohoo:
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Re: Random Literature Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-10-24, 20:32

I agree, I don't see any mistakes in what you wrote. :)


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