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12:02 AM
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Q: Brodsky's "two-liner" in his essay "Less than One"

Ali EnayatIn his 1976 essay Less than One, Joseph Brodsky writes: For the beginning I had better trust my birth certificate, which states that I was born on May 24, 1940, in Leningrad, Russia, much as I abhor this name for the city which long ago the ordinary people nicknamed simply “Peter”—from Peters...

 
 
10 hours later…
9:33 AM
0
Q: What is the origin of the Aullay?

jlaIn T. H. White's novel, "The Sword in the Stone", he describes a mythical creature, the Aullay: [It was] as much bigger than an elephant as an elephant is larger than a sheep. It was a sort of horse with an elephant's trunk. In the rest of the book, White uses creatures and events from many...

 
 
5 hours later…
2:17 PM
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A: Suggest your Lit.SE reading challenges here!

IkWeetHetOokNietCheese by Willem Elsschot Everybody likes cheese, so why not read a novel about it? Cheese (in Dutch: Kaas, 1933) is a novel by the Flemish author Willem Elsschot (1882-1960) in which the main character, Frans Laarmans, a clerk, decides to become a sales agent in cheese. Without spoiling too muc...

 
@NewTopicChallengeSuggestion It's a delectable novel ;-)
 
 
4 hours later…
5:58 PM
@IkWeetHetOokNiet Special topic challenge to honour our #20 rep user?
The last two questions posted have both gone HNQ.
 
 
2 hours later…
8:26 PM
@Randal'Thor LOL, I had complete forgotten we have a user named @CHEESE !
@Randal'Thor Oh, that means that our site's HNQ feed isn't working.
 
Reminding people that there's a meta discussion on updating the "on-topic" page in the help centre: literature.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1224/…
 
@IkWeetHetOokNiet I'd forgotten we('re supposed to) have one of those. Does it predate the logging of HNQ entry in post history? Maybe that changed something in the system.
 
8:41 PM
It relies on a website/service that is independent of SE, so I wouldn't know whether logging on SE makes a difference.
As you have probably noticed, I have created a new feed, based on a post on Meta SE. Now we'll have to wait for the next HNQ.
 
8:57 PM
I suddenly remember I once read Amélie Nothomb's play Les Combustibles / Human Rites. It is set in a city under siege, so the characters are staying inside. They have run out of wood to burn, so they start burning books. The horror!
If some of her short stories were available online in English, I would suggest Amélie Nothomb for a reading challenge.
 
9:24 PM
@Randal'Thor He also has his own tag on another site.
 
10:11 PM
0
Q: Who is Gugalanna?

Rand al'ThorIn this question I originally used the name Gugalanna for the Heaven-Bull slain by Gilgamesh and Enkidu, following Wikipedia. After a query in comments, I edited the question since the name Gugalanna is not used in the modernised Muss-Arnolt translation which I was using as a source. But after th...

 
10:25 PM
@b_jonas Do you know of any significant Hungarian authors with readily available English translations of their works?
 
10:54 PM
@Randal'Thor I don't really follow the translations of those books. I know Szabó Magda's Ajtó has a translation. babelmatrix.org has a lot of translations online, mostly poetry but some prose too (this might be a bias because I count pages and the poetry is chunked to shorter pages), mostly translations to Hungarian but also translations between various other languages.
 
@b_jonas Thanks. Maybe the works of Szabó Magda would make a good topic challenge?
 
dunno, I haven't actually read Ajtó or any of the other adult books from her
you may also try to look in MEK ("http://mek.niif.hu/", alt server "http://mek.oszk.hu/"), it's a useful online collection and keeps growing and has lots of books, including copyrighted ones donated by authors for restricted use,
but I don't know which translations to English are worth to read
 
@b_jonas Are those translations to Hungarian or from Hungarian?
 
And I don't read Jókai either, so I'm not familiar with a lot of the most famous Hungarian literature.
 
At first glance all I'm seeing (even after translating the site itself to English) are texts in Hungarian.
 
11:04 PM
@Randal'Thor There are some from Hungarian it seems, but I never really looked for them, so I don't know if there are good ones.
you can get the entire catalog in an excel sheet somewhere I think
most of the texts are in Hungarian, yes
 
Fair enough. Thanks anyway for the links and resources!
That babelmatrix website looks really interesting. Truly a matrix of different languages.
I see they aren't including the diagonal elements of that matrix ;-)
 
@Randal'Thor I just reported a page recently that was marked onto diagonal, but only by mistake
looks like MEK has English translations of some of Jókai's books
NB. you have to click on "KATALÓGUS-
CÉDULA" to get the metadata of each book
unless you look them up in that big excel sheet by number that is
 
@b_jonas Translated "Under the Author's supervision" with a foreword by himself to the translated version. Nice.
 
Check out translations by Makkai Ádám magyarulbabelben.net/works/hu-all/Makkai%2C_Adam-1935 , he's probably the only translator from Hungarian whose quality I can guarantee
 
Does "Fordítások" mean translator?
And "Angol" presumably means English.
 
11:12 PM
there's an English interface somewhere
on babelmatrix that is, not on MEK
click on "en" in the top left corner
turn on javascript
the play Madách Imre: Az ember tragédiája has translations by four different translators on MEK. this is also a piece that is very famous but I don't like it
 
@b_jonas I found the big matrix. That's going to be useful for finding translations from all sorts of languages, not only Hungarian.
 
mek.oszk.hu/html/export.html has the downloadable catalogs from MEK (their collection is actively growing, so I should download a new version in fact)
 
Does MEK have an English interface?
 
@Randal'Thor yes, but like I said, more than half of babelmatrix is translations to Hungarian. Also their side is available under three different names and skins, which is a bit confusing.
MEK probably doesn't have an English interface.
I didn't know that
but it looks like that English interface is more limited, some elements are missing
so I'd recomment the Hungarian interface for them
for babelmatrix the English UI interface should be complete
in any case for MEK I recommend that you download a catalog dump from mek.oszk.hu/html/export.html and browse locally. there's multiple formats available. and I really should get a more recent dump, the one I have on my hard disk is very old.
 
It seems like you need to know what you're searching for in order to find much there. For example this list is so long.
babelmatrix has less stuff available, but at least that makes it easier to browse.
 
11:20 PM
they're different. MEK has all sorts of books; babelmatrix has parallel translations mostly of poems.
 
Mm yeah, I didn't find any long works on babelmatrix yet.
 
You may also check Project Gutenberg and Wikisource, I have never really looked at translations from Hungarian there, but they generally have a lot of books. Both of these have only books that are not copyrighted.
 
A poetry collection might make for a nice topic challenge though, if there's a good variety of poems all in translation. It's easier to just "dip in" with short works.
Is there any way to sort these by author?
Sorting by title isn't much use, if I want to browse a set of poems by the same author.
 
Pushkin's poetry is available on Project Gutenberg in English as well
Though as far as Russian poetry goes he must be the most popular
 
@Randal'Thor There's a listing of authors, filterable by source and dest langauges, but you don't directly see works there, just the names of authors
And you can click on the name of an author to list all works of that author
Even the author names on that page.
 
11:27 PM
@b_jonas Like this? What does the number after each name denote - is it the number of things available on the website written by that author?
Some of the names are in bold and some not. But that doesn't seem to be connected to the size of the number.
 
@Randal'Thor The numbers are the number of pages under it I think; bold I think means authors with a Nobel prize
Hmm no, that's unlikely
I don't know what bold means then
it did mean Nobel prize on some other page
 
That would be a lot of Nobel prize winners.
Maybe some other prize then?
 
I don't know
wait a moment, if you want longer works, I can find them. I have a dump of all the Hungarian content of babelmatrix, let me just see which ones are the longest (then that has to be filtered by what language you want translations to)
Rand: you should probably check Wikisource and Project Gutenberg later, plus perhaps library catalogs of libraries that will be accessible to you
 
I already know about Wikisource and Project Gutenberg, but from this conversation I've learned about some other good resources.
 
magyarulbabelben.net/works/hu/Pet%C5%91fi_S%C3%A1ndor-1823/… Petőfi: "János Vitéz" is the longest Hungarian text, and it has a translation to English
 
11:35 PM
The rhyme and rhythm in the English version are really good. I hope that didn't require too much sacrifice in the meaning.
Hats off to that translator.
 
magyarulbabelben.net/works/hu/Szil%C3%A1gyi_Gy%C3%B6rgy-1928/… may be the second longest page translated to English from Hungarian on babelmatrix
@Randal'Thor If you like the translator, you can always click on his name and find other translations by the same translator on Babelmatrix
 
Yep, it's nice to be able to search by either author or translator. Although the interface should make it clearer which is which ... I was confused for a while.
 
If you want a mathematics textbook, then the ed. Iványi book has a good English translation, and it might even be available from the internet I think.
 
Nah, I have enough maths textbooks already, no particular need for one that's translated from Hungarian :-)
 

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