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12:16 AM
Oh hey, it looks like babelmatrix probably got some legal threats about hosting a lot of copyrighted text snippets, and now has a warning that they'll control new submissions more strictly. They may have even removed some things. I think I bulk downloaded them at just the right time.
And it's a yellow image bullet before the name that means a Nobel prize.
1 hour later…
1:39 AM
Q: "This Is Water" David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech Fish Story Reference

Arnold FrenzyIn DFW "This Is Water" Commencement Speech there is a story used a as a metaphor about a fish asking another fish "what the hell is water". I had the impression this story was something I had heard before, and DFW was there only using or slightly modifying a popular joke to illustrate his point....

9 hours later…
10:41 AM
Sándor Márai may be good for a topic challenge. Several of his novels have been translated into English. Of course, these translated are not in the public domain.
@Randal'Thor What you predicted has happened - it took only 11 days.
11:03 AM
@Bookworm Origin of the concept of "Bull of Heaven": twitter.com/RobinEdgar/status/1105265498168745984 -;)
11:25 AM
@IkWeetHetOokNiet Indeed, congratulations @GarethRees!
@IkWeetHetOokNiet I was thinking of Magda Szabó, who seems culturally significant and much translated. But again the same problem with her stuff not being in the public domain.
2 hours later…
12:59 PM
A: Suggest your Lit.SE reading challenges here!

Rand al'ThorMagda Szabó Magda Szabó was a Hungarian author who wrote novels, poetry, essays, short stories, etc. Her works have been translated into many languages, many of them into English. These include: The Door (Az ajtó), a 1987 story about the complex relationship between a woman (who may be modelle...

We've been misreading the title of a famous novel by Albert Camus: it's not "La Peste" but "Rien de plus qu'une petite grippe" ("Nothing more than a little flu").
3 hours later…
3:44 PM
I'm a bit puzzled by the two downvotes on this post about the moderator election. I hope they weren't triggered by my comment.
3 hours later…
7:03 PM
@IkWeetHetOokNiet Random question, but what's a good short form of your username? One can talk about "Rand" and "Gareth" and "Mith" and "Matt", but should we remember the full name IkWeetHetOokNiet or is something like "Ik Weet" OK for referring to you? (I assume you don't want the first name of your old username to be used any more.)
@Randal'Thor Can I use your initials and call you Rat instead?
@Alex Only if I can use your initials and ... err ... that won't work.
@Randal'Thor Hmm, let me think about that. Since "ik weet het ook niet" is Dutch for "I don't know it either", shortening the name to "ik weet" ("I know") would assume too much ;-)
Or I could change my name again. Do you find Tsundoku easy enough to remember?
@IkWeetHetOokNiet I love it when languages have awesome words that describe situations such as that one
@IkWeetHetOokNiet That's a memorable word; it sounds like an enormous wave of sudoku puzzles.
@Gallifreyan I don't remember if it's Finnish or German that has a special word for "sitting alone at home in one's underwear drinking alcohol".
7:15 PM
@Randal'Thor That's all the motivation I need :-)
Jan 21 at 23:09, by Rand al'Thor
@IkWeetHetOokNiet That sounds like a cross between Sun Tzu and Sudoku.
I knew I'd seen that word before, but apparently my reaction was different last time.
@Randal'Thor Finnish
@Loong Possibly it was you I heard this from, and that's why I couldn't remember which language it was :-)
I wonder if usage of that word has increased in coronavirus times.
7:20 PM
Yeah, suddenly you can find the typical Finnish lifestyle everywhere.
It's a lifestyle compatible with tsundoku.
When you put them in that order, it looks like the Russian flag.
@Loong That reminds me of the book They Have a Word For It: A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words and Phrases by Howard Rheingold.
And I still have a bottle of Corona beer in the fridge. Now that production has been halted, this might become a collector's item.
@Tsundoku Probably contains some German words, too.
7:32 PM
@Randal'Thor Temporary congratulations ;-)
and Finnish sisu
@Loong I suppose it contains words such as Schadenfreude and fremdschämen. (I live in Germany, by the way.)
@Tsundoku If competition keeps you both posting great answers, long may the neck-and-neck period continue.
fremdschämen is rather new; however, Schadenfreude is the classic example of such a word
@Loong One word I remember is koro.
8:14 PM
Q: What does "haidamak" mean?

MithicalThe first line of Isaac Bashevis Singer's Satan in Goray goes: In the year 1648, the wicked Ukrainian hetman, Bogdan Chmelnicki, and his followers besieged the city of Zamosć but could not take it, because it was strongly fortified; the rebelling haidamak peasants moved on to spread havoc in ...

8:27 PM
@Randal'Thor *waves as both of them blow right past me*
8:43 PM
@Randal'Thor Never tried, can't relate, but I respect Finnish for having a word for it
8:54 PM
@Bookworm Looks like an easy question I could answer if only I could find some authoritative resources
@Gallifreyan Not sure how authoritative is desired here, but I've had a go at answering.
I was expecting that question to be harder than it was. Just Googling "haidamak" led me directly to the Wikipedia page.
@Randal'Thor Ah, you beat me to it!
It's interesting to recognise the Turkic "hayda" root in it, and then recognise the name is actually a valid word in Turkish
Having Googled it beforehand, I didn't expect it to be so difficult. ;)
Albeit a word I haven't seen being used before
9:02 PM
@Tsundoku No harm in having more than one answer!
My explanation of the seemingly anachronistic 17th-18th century connection is a bit of a guess.
@Randal'Thor I know, but I currently don't have any source that you haven't used yet.
(Now I'm in the strange situation that I still need to get used to my new username.)
Wow, that was a quick three upvotes. Looks like we're heading for another HNQ.
And maybe a more expert answer. There's a whole Ukrainian Language SE, which probably has a lot of people who know a lot more about Ukrainian history.
(And hopefully not a debate in the comments about whether the haidamaks were heroic rebels against their oppressors or evil genocidalists against Catholics and Jews.)
@Randal'Thor I asked in their chatroom whether they are familiar with the term, but the last conversation there dates from eight days ago.
It looks like the "Epic of Gilgamesh" reading challenge never ended - still two unanswered questions!
@Tsundoku Can you explain when it's appropriate to use the or tags for Gilgamesh questions? I don't get it, so I'm probably continuing to make mistakes. And I've already half forgotten what the different versions are. Wasn't there a Sumerian version and a Babylonian version? Was Babylonian not a language?
I'd thought the "original", or at least oldest known, version of the story was in a language called Sumerian, hence the tag (as it might be presumed the other versions are translations). Is that not correct?
It's based on the language those works were written in. The Standard Babylonian version and the Old Babylonian version require the tag , since Babylonian was the variety of Akkadian used in Souther Mesopotamia. (...)
The five/six older Gilgamesh texts were in Sumerian.
Some passages exists both in Sumerian and in Babylonian, e.g. about the Bull of Heaven, so both tags can be relevant there.
So if a question is about materials only found in the Standard Babylonian version, the tag makes no sense.
9:19 PM
If the older texts were in Sumerian, and later ones in Akkadian, isn't it reasonable to suppose that Sumerian was the "original" and Akkadian versions were "translations"? Or not? Or are the versions different enough that they really deserve separate tags, not like translations of a single story?
The Akkadian texts go way beyond translation, since they combine the stories into an integrated whole, add new material and add a unifying theme that did not exist in the Sumerian texts.
OK, I think I get it now. The Sumerian version isn't really an "Epic of Gilgamesh" but a few short stories about the character of Gilgamesh.
Yes, the Sumerian poems are not connected to each other, other than being about Gilgamesh.
I was confused because I'd thought the two main versions of the Epic were the "Sumerian version" and "Babylonian version", but looking again at the Wikipedia page now it lists the "Old Babylonian version" and "Standard Babylonian version". (Now I'm wondering if one of my older questions even makes sense ...)
I started editing the Wikipedia page, because "standard version" made no sense. I'm not done yet.
9:25 PM
Ah, Wikipedia has been edited since that question.
Ah, it was you! Now everything is coming together :-)
@Randal'Thor You can always link to a specific version of that page - just select an older version in the version history.
I also removed the name "Gugalanna", as you may have noticed.
Well, regardless of whether our Gilgamesh topic challenge was a success in terms of Q&A posted in that month, it's certainly been a success in getting us a Gilgamesh expert.
You've learned all this Gilgamesh stuff in the last few months, right? Or had you already studied it before this site's topic challenge?
No, everything I read about Gilgamesh is a result of that challenge. And I'm not done reading yet.
So, now the Wikipedia article consistently says "Standard Babylonian version" instead of "standard version".
To continue the discussion about the tags: the decision that Enkidu must die only occurs in the Babylonian text, not in the Sumerian ones (unless a new fragment suddenly appears).
1 hour later…
10:44 PM
Greetings everyone
English is not my native language, and I'm really interested in literature but finding it hard to go through(Shakespeare for example), we didn't take English literature classes at school unfortunately... so..

-Where do you think I should start ? Is there some learning pathways that i should be familiar with ?

-What skills you think i need to develop in reading comprehension besides being familiar with each word's meaning ?

-Any suggestions of (authors/books) I should start with ?

-Some Terminology to look for regarding literature?

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