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12:04 AM
Man found the Archimedean point, but he used it against himself; it seems that he was permitted to find it only under this condition. (Franz Kafka)
4 hours later…
4:26 AM
Q: Poet persona of the poem " Farewell to Barn Stack and Tree""

Selfie- grofieAppropos of the below given stanza from the poem "Farewell to Barn Stack and Tree" by A.E House man" which revolves around a country lad with guilt- stricken state of mind after murdering his brother, I have a few doubts. “I wish you strength to bring you pride, And a love to keep you clean, And ...

5:19 AM
I'm having a really hard time keeping myself from telling Lambie to just knock it off. Could a mod please point out to her that her habit of making disparaging comments on questions and answers she disagrees with comes across as snide and just detracts from the tenor of the conversation on the network?
Examples: here, here), here.
The last is particularly baffling. Why not just edit the question instead of highlighting the typo? Or suggest an edit if she doesn't have sufficient rep.
If she had the guts to provide answers instead of merely making comments, at least she could be held accountable via downvotes.
@PeterShor That one postdates All the Light We Cannot See, and having (recently) finished the latter, I have absolutely no desire to attempt Cloud Cuckoo Land. What a bunch of claptrap. "To see them all the way out here soothes him, as though he has turned and found an old friend floating beside him in the middle of the sea."
Right, nothing more soothing than seeing your old friends floating in the middle of the fucking sea.
I mean, given the quality of the novel generally, I imagine the old friend Doerr finds is floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where this novel would surely be at home.
Reading Cheese after that was like taking a nice bracing shower to wash all that slime and ooze from Doerr off one.
And the next time someone asks me for a definition of backpfeifengesicht, I'll point them to Doerr's author pic.
1 hour later…
6:56 AM
Q: Is the character named Laarmans supposed to be the same person across Elsschot's œuvre?

verboseThe protagonist and first-person narrator of Ellschot's delicious Cheese (1933) is a hapless clerk named Frans Laarmans who finds himself unexpectedly tasked with selling twenty tons of imported full-cream edam all over Belgium and Luxembourg. Narrative connections between Cheese and other novels...

7:18 AM
Q: Inconsistency in number of cheeses per box in Elsschot's *Cheese*

verboseIn Chapter 10 of Willem Elsschot's Cheese, the narrator Laarmans takes delivery of "three hundred and seventy patent boxes" full of cheese. He decides: I'll sell in multiples of twenty-seven cheeses, as there are twenty-seven cheeses in each box. Elsschot, Willem. Cheese. 1933. Trans. Paul Vince...

"A businessman must be familiar with his product and identify with it. He has to live with it. He's got to be up to his ears in it. He's got to smell of it. That last bit wouldn't have been difficult in the case of cheese, but I meant it more in a figurative sense." - Elsschot, Cheese
8:04 AM
@Tsundoku Happy meow?
@bobble At first I misread that and thought your dad put you to work when you were two. I wondered briefly whether you were a child actor or something ...
@verbose Haha, some good questions!
@Tsundoku so upvote and/or answer
Thing is, when I have a question while reading a book I always think, "maybe this will be answered later on," so I don't post it. But the result is, I end up with several questions to post all at once. I can't spread them out because I am usually up against a deadline to return the book to the library.
I'm currently away from home, so answering could be a bit difficult this week.
By the way, Boorman also has a short appearance in Cheese.
@Tsundoku 😱
But I thought you were existentially away from home. Aren't you a Flemish expat living in Germany?
Okay, then, don't answer yet, but upvote 😁
@Tsundoku yes, doesn't the question say that?
In a sense, my temporary home is in Germany and now I'm at my parent's home, which is also a sort of home.
8:11 AM
@Tsundoku Wherever you go, there you are
@verbose Yes, I skimmed the question too quickly.
@verbose Strictly speaking, home is where my books are. Everywhere else is the desert.
A book of verses underneath the bough
A Jug of Wine, A Loaf of Bread——and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness——
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
Or in Hindi:
हो सााथ अगर पहलू में एक मस्त-ए-शबाब
एक जाम हो और हाथ में शे'रों की किताब
एक साज़ हो और सााज़ पे गाती हो हसीना
बन जाए ये वीराना बहारों का जवाब
Q: What is specifically Dutch about light bulbs?

verboseIn Willem Elsschot's Cheese, the narrator Laarmans bemoans the fact that his job involves selling full-cream edam imported from the Netherlands: It's strange, but to me there was something revolting and ridiculous about this commodity. I'd have preferred it if I could have traded in something el...

8:22 AM
Kinda interesting that I know both the English and the Hindi translations of that Khayyam verse but have no idea what the original Persian is
Well technically it's Hindustani or Urdu rather than Hindi, but same difference
8:40 AM
@verbose Could you please raise a flag, to leave an audit trail?
I could, but the thing is, none of the comments individually are flag-worthy. It's the overall pattern that's so ... infuriating.
If you think I should still flag them and write a custom reason, I shall.
A custom flag on any of the user's posts works. (It also means it's less likely to slip through the cracks - I'm not sure I have time to take care of it today, for instance, and it's easy to miss in chat.)
k will do, thanks @Mithical, hope things ease up for you soon
Thanks. I'm finally out of reserve duty, but that means it's time to take care of everything that got neglected during that time :)
thing is, that behavior isn't even confined to Lit SE, she does it throughout the network. I see a comment that comes across as both ill-informed and unkind on ELU, or ELL, or French, or Philosophy ... chances are fifty-fifty it's from her.
@Mithical Hey congratulations! Go do more pleasant things than mod stuff on Lit SE. Get drunk, get laid, eat greasy high-sodium food, sleep late. I am so very relieved, I've been worried.
8:55 AM
@Bookworm Found it 💡 !
in Chez Cosette, Aug 16, 2023 at 8:53, by Dimitris
Does anybody know why both users LPH and Lambie were suspended for one year to calm down?
in Chez Cosette, Sep 8, 2023 at 1:40, by Luke Sawczak
I've actually done almost no moderation since that strike was announced, nor have I resumed since the bargaining update. (Without LPH and Lambie on the site for a year, there are almost no flags to review.)
@Bookworm When I was younger, light bulbs were basically synonymous with Philips. I can't remember seeing any other brands as a child. It probably was the same in the 1930s, when Elsschot wrote Cheese.
@Tsundoku I had no idea Philips was a Dutch company
@Tsundoku ha
Who's Cosette?
ooh I've been meaning to ask you @Tsundoku, does French SE take literary type questions or is it just for la langue française, pas pour la littérature
@verbose You can ask her when she wakes up ;-)
@verbose French SE has a littérature tag, which is fine for meaning question but I hope you will continue posting interpretation question on Literature SE (unless you post them in French).
@Tsundoku oh that Cosette. I'm not at all sure I'd find her place a cozy place to hang out though
@Tsundoku I'ven't had the guts to post anything in French SE that's actually in French
Although I can still read French well, I'm out of practice writing it. I cannot speak it to speak of.
Though sometimes I wonder. I recently finished reading a steaming pile of hooey called All the Light We Cannot See which is set mostly in France, and there are a lot of French phrases peppered through the novel. I kept tripping over them, and kept thinking, "That sounds wrong." Reading about the novel after I finished reading it, I discovered that the novelist doesn't speak French and used Google Translate
So my French is good enough to spot iffy Google Translations, anyway
9:16 AM
@verbose Ouch.
The American author Jonathan Littell wrote his first novel, Les Bienveillantes, in French and was awarded the the Prix Goncourt and the Prix de l'Académie française for it. His French is evidently better than Anthony Doerr's.
Q: Did Willa Cather plagiarize her acclaimed 1928, Death Comes For The Archbishop, from a 1908 biography by William J. Howlett?

gcirianiDid Willa Cather plagiarize her acclaimed 1928 novel, Death Comes For The Archbishop? She acknowledged to have been influenced by a biography published in 1908 and written by the Rev. W.J. Howlett: Life of the Right reverend Joseph P. Macheboeuf, D.D. While checking details of the biography, I wa...

@Tsundoku that's a low bar, since Doerr's is non-existent
Didn't Beckett write En Attendant Godot in French before translating it himself into his native Irish? Maybe we'll see an English translation of Ag fanacht le Godot out some day.
9:38 AM
@verbose Not only En attendant Godot.
Thanks for the answer on the light bulbs question, @Tsundoku. Do the Flemish/Dutch refer to tulips as bulbs? Inquiring minds wanna know. Also, as @Segorian points out, Philips was founded in 1891, not 1981, but I didn't want to edit your answer in case there was a typo in the original source?
2 hours later…
11:17 AM
@verbose The Dutch word for tulip bulb is tulpenbol, wheareas the Dutch word for light bulb is gloeilamp (in which the Dutch word for bulb does not even appear). Due to a light bulb's shape, it can also be referred to as "peertje", the deminitive form of "peer" (pear; cf German "Birne").
@Tsundoku huh, what's its scope? should tag my one question, asking about the meaning of a phrase in a work of literature, with that?
11:33 AM
@b_jonas The tag is appropriate for tagging questions about meaning in literary texts. Grammar in literary texts would also be fine. The tag is a bit broader than the wording of the description.
thank you
5 hours later…
4:53 PM
@Bookworm A light bulb came on over the HNQ.
3 hours later…
8:06 PM
Q: Does this allude to George Orwell's Animal Farm?

Silent SojournerFrom John Le Carre's Smiley's People: Returning to bed, he opened a copy of Cobbett’s Rural Rides and tried to read it while he loosely pondered, among other weighty matters, his sense of civitas and how much, or how little, he owed to Oliver Lacon: “Your duty, George.” Yet who could seriously b...


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