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12:01 AM
My library order is ready for pickup :D
12:31 AM
What book(s)?
Oct 24 at 15:53, by bobble
My university library system does indeed have both the Japanese original and English translation of Beauty and Sadness.
Oct 24 at 15:56, by bobble
I've put in a request for the Japanese one and should be able to figure out this question - online translation tools + knowledge that it's at the start of Chapter 7 + my rudimentary understanding of punctuation etc.
Oh, that's cool as heck.
What specifically?
1 hour later…
1:40 AM
update: this is not going to be as simple as counting to the seventh chapter and Google Translating the page
I may borrow the English translation tomorrow for reference
4 hours later…
5:17 AM
Using library resources to answer Lit.SE questions!
The entire idea is pretty cool to me.
3 hours later…
7:50 AM
I just posted the 100th question, but nobody is close to the requirements for a tag badge.
Q: Why has this Premchand story been translated as both "Catastrophe" and "A Positive Change"?

Rand al'ThorThere is a Premchand short story whose original Hindi title is "Vidhwans"; it's been translated into English as "Catastrophe", as seen here, but the same story has also been translated as "A Positive Change", as seen in this answer sourced from Penguin's Premchand: the complete short stories (201...

@Slate Some people have bought entire books just to answer Lit.SE questions. That's an even bigger step, to my mind - at least library resources are free.
Btw, do you have any thoughts on the Rubik's cube issue that we were discussing in here yesterday? Not with your CM hat on, I just thought you might have a personal view.
8:41 AM
@Bookworm Unfortunately, the answer to this is less interesting than I thought it might be. The Urdu story is significantly different, hence the difference in the titles. As to why Premchand chose to change the ending, I'm not sure. The "Notes" at the end don't really say, but it's possible that some Premchand scholars have discussed this story...
@Namaskaram Changing the ending can be interesting on its own right. Especially if it doesn't seem like it had to be changed to get through censorship.
Sometimes real-world pressure makes an author change their endings:
A: Why was the ending of "And Then There Were None" changed for the stage version?

Matt ThrowerAnd Then There Were None was originally published in 1939 at the outbreak of World War 2. The author adapted for the stage in 1943 when the war was at its apex. According to Hilary Strong, CEO of "Agatha Christie Ltd" who manage the rights to the author's work, theatre producers at the time felt...

.oO(“de a cinke, ha leröppen”)
@Randal'Thor how many times was the title of that book changed? two or three?
only two apparently
2 hours later…
11:28 AM
@b_jonas Fair enough :)
11:46 AM
@Bookworm I know this has been asked and answered by high rep users in good standing, but can someone explain what makes it on topic for literature? I was considering close voting for off topic and suggesting asking on Philosophy SE, but seeing it answered by a diamond mod leads to me asking for elucidation instead
@Spagirl It's asking for the source of a quote. We've previously established that quote IDs are on-topic, even though it's impossible to know if the quote indeed originated from a work of literature.
12:45 PM
See here on meta -- my position is that the nature of the question determines if it is on-topic, not the nature of the work.
Since there is no agreed-upon definition of literature, I agree with that position.
1:37 PM
in The Sphinx's Lair, 2 days ago, by Slate
@bobble My honest opinion, not really a CM-informed opinion but more as an ex-mod/long-time user of the site, is that I'd be a bit sad if a question like this were to become off-topic. Based on my domain knowledge, this question seems to have several clear answers, including some mathematical ones, but most of which can be 'well-informed opinion.' It's a common question, too.
So The Reading Room is now becoming a chatroom for two SE sites? ;-)
1 hour later…
2:58 PM
@Mithical I understand that it is asking for the source of a quote, but (and I'm asking to understand the reasoning, not arguing that it is wrong) how far does that stretch? If I posted asking the source of 'Microwaves do not stay in the air or in the food' would that stay open on the grounds that it might have originated in a work of literature, rather than its more mundane source in my microwave's user guide?
@GarethRees Yes, I saw that before I posted, and obviously the fact that it was someone such as yourself posting contributed to my uncertainty. But when I had previously read that I imagined that it meant quotations from literary sources incorporated to illuminate a non-literary subject. I think the close association in your answer with 'allusions' probably fed that understanding.
Again, I'm not arguing against anything, just seeking to understand. Are we saying that anything that is couched as a quotation is on-topic, not requiring that there be any suggestion that it originated within a classically 'literary' source and regardless of its being used in a non-literary subject matter?
@Mithical Please disregard that last, I realise that when you say 'that quote IDs are on-topic' you probably mean 'things within a text that are obviously quoted from another source' are on topic for ID rather than that any bit of text someone is able to quote from somewhere is on topic. So please ignore the bit about microwaves. But I still don't understand how wide the scope is, if the quote is clearly within the non-literary subject matter, would that still be on topic?
3:25 PM
@Spagirl I mean... basically? We've yet to hash out all the edge cases.
@Mithical basically yes? Basically no? Basically maybe? Sorry, I'm genuinely unsure which you mean.
Basically yes, we currently accept pretty much any quote ID irrespective of its "literary"-ness.
3:46 PM
Cheers, where do I find that in Meta or on our tour? You said it had been established previously, but I've not been able to find it. I'm not doubting that its there, but Meta is a sprawling and messy way of setting standards and I frequently find that I can't locat things that everyone else seems to be confident of.
@Spagirl Perhaps this one? It's answered by @Mithical, too:
Q: Is it on-topic to ask for help finding the source of a quote?

jxhI have found a quote attributed to an author, but I have been unable to locate the source of the quote. Is it on-topic to ask for help identifying the source? In case it makes a difference, the quote is about an elephant's memory by Herb Caen.

A: Is it on-topic to ask for help finding the source of a quote?

MithicalYep! There are several examples of such questions on the main site; e.g. Where did the Robert Frost Quote "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane" come from?, Who said "Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing"?. We've even got a whole tag for it: quote-identification....

4:20 PM
Finished Lagoon. Intriguing book.
4:40 PM
First fiction book I've read in a while... and it's up there. Now back to non-fiction for the moment, lol.
(I have a shelf of non-fiction and other textbooks I'm looking forward to already. But... soon.)
5:02 PM
I'm currently working my way through a re-read of a non-fiction book. (previous re-read was of Code Name Verity)
5:12 PM
@Spagirl The precise quote is “ Your oven, SolarDOM, is one of the safest of all home appliances. When the door is opened, the oven automatically stops producing microwaves. Microwave energy is converted completely to heat when it enters food, leaving no ‘left over’ energy to harm you when you eat your food.”
And you can find it at math.bme.hu/~ambrus/pu/mikro which I transcribed from the manual of a microwave oven.
Interesting! What's the book you're reading now?
5:32 PM
@Slate NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
Intriguing title!
On page 285/484, currently covering the beginning of ABA therapy
Oh yikes. What prompted the reread?
I hadn't in a while. Also it was one of the few I brought to university.
Makes sense.
Seems like it could be a rough read, honestly.
5:38 PM
I nearly hit something with the book when I was at the bit about eugenics
There's actually a lot of interesting stuff around that though. For example, one of the reasons that "Asperger's syndrome" was the more "mild" version was because Asperger felt pressure to present the more sterling examples of his patients in an effort to argue that they should be spared execution by Nazis.
Yeah :(
Oh, what, seriously? That's the origin?
One big thing. People with disabilities were being executed or sterilized left and right, so if he could argue his patients were a benefit to society and not a drain, they might be spared
Then, Kanner's syndrome was more "severe" because he had a habit of just saying anyone who had a milder version didn't have his syndrome. If it was narrow he could more easily declare it an interesting rare disorder which he was the sole expert in.
Skooba has unaccepted Catija's answer to the question What types of non-fiction are on topic?.
5:55 PM
Mmm, that's a rough history. I should really learn more about it, but the whole thing is kind of horrifying and I haven't been in the right brain-space to dive into it.
@bobble Thanks! I'll try to find time to write an answer to that meta, at least put a voice of defence out there to be voted on.
I have three other social theory books in the way first, anyway. (Plus the other topics I've been meaning to learn.)
@Slate I hadn't heard of this, looked it up, and stumbled upon an intriguing tidbit on Wikipedia:
> It has drawn much scholarly attention since its publication, some of which was written before Okorafor's important clarification that her work is "Africanfuturist" rather than "Afrofuturist."
What's the difference and why is it important? Linguistically they seem equivalent.
@Randal'Thor main-site Q?
@Randal'Thor Don't take my word for it, take hers: nnedi.blogspot.com/2019/10/africanfuturism-defined.html
5:59 PM
I brought three other nonfiction books (history of the periodic table, cancer, and genetics) and six fiction books (Watership Down, the first three Not Your Sidekick books, and Code Name Verity + its companion Rose Under Fire)
That's an interesting question indeed. I find the concept of Afrofuturism rather intriguing.
(And, frankly, the distinction makes sense to me. "Afrofuturism" is used in a way that blurs together everything speculative written by Black people, regardless of culture, intent, experience, style, spirituality, locality... and causes people to read these works inappropriately. This is true even outside of Nnedi's work.)
(Genre labels skewing perception of a work is a known problem, but it's especially bad when the audience of critical reviewers is already prone to miss fine distinctions for other cultural reasons.)
@Slate Huh, interesting. A lot of subtlety there, it's not a simple difference. But if I may be so bold as to simplify it down, it's something like the difference between African and "African American" (a term I'm not a fan of) - so yes, an important difference indeed.
In fact, the reason I don't like the term "African American" is that it tends to conflate the experience of being American with a particular skin colour (including those whose families have been in the US for generations) with that of being African, which is totally different in a way I suspect a lot of Americans don't grasp. Her terminology goes some way towards challenging that conflation.
(Not that I'm imagining a single experience of "being African", I hasten to add. I'm aware that Africa consists of many countries and is perhaps the most diverse continent, or at worst the second most after Asia.)
I understand her concerns that sometimes Afrofuturism comes across a bit US-centric.
"African American" is a complicated phrase with a complicated history. I'd probably say there's an analogy but that the difference is not a 1-to-1 match for the difference Nnedi is highlighting. But I'm a learner / listener of the topic, so my understanding is going to be narrow than I think it is.
6:08 PM
She's perhaps playing a little fast and loose with language, making "Africanfuturism" a single word. But hey, recognising distinct cultural phenomena is more important than being anal about language - plus she's a successful writer and presumably knows full well what she's doing with words.
(I'm sure there's emergent discourse on the topic I'm not in the loop on, either.)
I mean, yeah, I think the decision to create a word for it was deliberate / legitimate. There's a lot of extant pressure to classify (as opposed to letting works stand on their own), which often juxtaposes works that shouldn't be.
@Randal'Thor I find her defiance against English's word separation addiction rather amiable. ;-)
Btw, I've also noticed that she tends to get referred to among fans by first name, Nnedi, rather than last name like Shakespeare or Rowling or whoever. Is that a preference of hers, or reflecting some higher level of approachability? Hopefully not just because people find Nnedi an easier name than Okorafor :-P
@NapoleonWilson Oh right. I was thinking you might dislike it as much as ampersands, but yeah, as a German, that makes sense.
Needing 7 words, more than half of them articles and prepositions instead of 1 succint one can be rather annoying.
@Bookworm HNQ.
6:42 PM
@Randal'Thor To tell you the truth, I have no idea.
3 hours later…
10:10 PM
Q: Were Anne Elisabeth Stengl's project under her pseudonym more financially successful?

EJoshuaS - Reinstate MonicaFollow-up to: Did Anne Elisabeth Stengl ever write a book under a pen name like she announced that she would? If so, what was it? Anne Elisabeth Stengl indicated in several sources that part of the reason she was forced to "give up on" the Tales of Goldstone Wood was the limited financial success...


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