rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Ruth's birthday cake is indeed the best cake I've ever made. Including the parsnip cake. It is better than the parsnip cake.

Photos exist, but I need to figure out whether we own the cable that would get them from my phone to the computer. If we don't, it's gonna be a while, because both Ruth and I have a terrible cold.

[personal profile] desperance asked for the recipe, and here it is. )

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Ruth's birthday cake is indeed the best cake I've ever made. Including the parsnip cake. It is better than the parsnip cake.

Photos exist, but I need to figure out whether we own the cable that would get them from my phone to the computer. If we don't, it's gonna be a while, because both Ruth and I have a terrible cold.

[personal profile] desperance asked for the recipe, and here it is. )
rushthatspeaks: (platypus)
Would it be wrong of me to do a translation of William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land into modern English?

It's out of copyright. I checked.

The reasons I would want to translate it are the same reasons one wants to translate anything: it is a text I love, in language many people cannot read. If it were something out of copyright in French, or Latin, I wouldn't hesitate to translate it into English.

I certainly wouldn't try to profit off this, and if anyone for some reason or other threw money at it I'd pass that along to charity. Basically I'd put it up on my website (which, when I get my act together, will also contain all the daily reviews indexed, and a feed to this blog, and so on, but there's nothing there yet).

The thing is, though, Hodgson chose his style and selected the words he wanted to use. Readers can still, with effort, understand it (though the same is true of, say, Chaucer, who gets translated all the time). But Hodgson was a modern writer-- well, modernish, we are talking about a century ago now. He wrote pseudo-archaically on purpose. And the text's unreadability, while it is intimately bound up with the style, is not entirely because the vocabulary and grammar have gone out of usage; a lot of it is because the style is badly done. I mean, it would never occur to me to do a translation of Eddison, because Eddison was grammatically correct.

Which... this gets into a knot about the ethics of translation, which I did take a course in, and my professors there would have debated this for months. You know-- if you're translating something that is terribly written in the original, does it have to be in the translation? Does making it well-written and readable make it not representative of that work anymore? I mean, the reason I am thinking of this as translation in the first place is that outright rewriting the book would be wrong (I found out today that Harold Bloom did that to Voyage to Arcturus (!), a venture which sank out of print, and if I have one major life ambition it is Not To Be Harold Bloom). I would be translating: maintaining as much of the core text, sentence structure, etc. as possible while putting it into a modern/undatable idiom.

So I cannot for the life of me figure out whether this would be an ethical thing to do. I don't know Hodgson well enough to know what he'd have said (if he left essays/letters/diaries I've never found them). Lin Carter chopped like fifteen thousand words out of the thing without asking, but that was his decision, you know? And I can agree with it or not as I like, and as a reader I do but I don't know if I do as a writer.

I would certainly enjoy the work immensely.

I have a long time to think about it, as there is no way in hell I would start something like this while still reading and reviewing a book every day, but I am really so incredibly ambivalent that I thought I'd throw it open to general argument, because I'm sure other people have thoughts that I haven't considered yet.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Recent reading: there hasn't been much. Firstly, all my books are in boxes in the limonaio; secondly, there has been so much to do with the bank-administrative and the various unpacking and the general trying to get my nerves resettled that I have had very little brain, and I've gone through the comfort books that aren't in boxes. (I should and will check more comfort books out of the library.)

The couple of things I have been reading. )

The third reason I haven't been reading much is that I expect to be doing a lot of reading very shortly. I read very fast, and the idea occurred to me some time ago that it would be interesting to do a year in which I read and reviewed a new book every day, no rereads. (I mean no reviewing the rereads. I read fast enough that I don't expect this to curb my rereading.) Then it occurred to me that if I begin on my upcoming birthday, the year would start on my twenty-ninth birthday and end on my thirtieth, which is exactly the kind of pointless symbolism with which I am the most delighted.

So that starts August 29th. One book a day, every day. Reviews will be posted publicly here. This post is where people can recommend me books; three hundred and sixty-five is at least a mini-syllabus in whatever subject area you'd like to give me a primer in, and there are several genres I haven't read in very widely (the Russian novel, the mystery novel post Christie, contemporary literary). The genres I have read in very widely are SF/F, YA, historical biography, intellectual history, memoir, history of theology, music/film/comic criticism, food, lit theory, feminist theory and urban studies. I've read a bit of romance but not as much. Unsurprisingly, the areas I read most widely are also the genres I like best. Recs of things you'd like me to review cheerfully accepted, assuming I haven't read them already.

I have access to a pretty good library system from which I can check books out, and an also pretty good university library, ditto. The university library has a very good sf collection which one has to read in-house, so I can't do that often. Apart from that, there is one bookstore in this town (i.e. within a couple of hours drive) and it is a Barnes & Noble which is not terrible but not terrific. So I can probably but not certainly get hold of most things in this town that I want to read, although there is a distressing local lack of Naomi Mitchison.

I am in hopes that getting up every morning, reading something, and writing about it will help me establish a routine and recollect after the move. That said, I realize this is a lot of books, but I think it will have interesting enough effects on the inside of my head to be worth a shot, and hopefully we will all get some entertaining reviews out of it. (This would also be where you tell me if you think this is a terrible idea.)

You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comment count unavailable comments over there.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Recent reading: there hasn't been much. Firstly, all my books are in boxes in the limonaio; secondly, there has been so much to do with the bank-administrative and the various unpacking and the general trying to get my nerves resettled that I have had very little brain, and I've gone through the comfort books that aren't in boxes. (I should and will check more comfort books out of the library.)

The couple of things I have been reading. )

The third reason I haven't been reading much is that I expect to be doing a lot of reading very shortly. I read very fast, and the idea occurred to me some time ago that it would be interesting to do a year in which I read and reviewed a new book every day, no rereads. (I mean no reviewing the rereads. I read fast enough that I don't expect this to curb my rereading.) Then it occurred to me that if I begin on my upcoming birthday, the year would start on my twenty-ninth birthday and end on my thirtieth, which is exactly the kind of pointless symbolism with which I am the most delighted.

So that starts August 29th. One book a day, every day. Reviews will be posted publicly here. This post is where people can recommend me books; three hundred and sixty-five is at least a mini-syllabus in whatever subject area you'd like to give me a primer in, and there are several genres I haven't read in very widely (the Russian novel, the mystery novel post Christie, contemporary literary). The genres I have read in very widely are SF/F, YA, historical biography, intellectual history, memoir, history of theology, music/film/comic criticism, food, lit theory, feminist theory and urban studies. I've read a bit of romance but not as much. Unsurprisingly, the areas I read most widely are also the genres I like best. Recs of things you'd like me to review cheerfully accepted, assuming I haven't read them already.

I have access to a pretty good library system from which I can check books out, and an also pretty good university library, ditto. The university library has a very good sf collection which one has to read in-house, so I can't do that often. Apart from that, there is one bookstore in this town (i.e. within a couple of hours drive) and it is a Barnes & Noble which is not terrible but not terrific. So I can probably but not certainly get hold of most things in this town that I want to read, although there is a distressing local lack of Naomi Mitchison.

I am in hopes that getting up every morning, reading something, and writing about it will help me establish a routine and recollect after the move. That said, I realize this is a lot of books, but I think it will have interesting enough effects on the inside of my head to be worth a shot, and hopefully we will all get some entertaining reviews out of it. (This would also be where you tell me if you think this is a terrible idea.)
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Every year I try to read an intimidating book.

By which I mean one it would be really nice to have read, on the grounds that I keep running into discussion of it, and also that people keep telling me it is good, but that I have no particular personal inclination towards given what I've heard, and that has some kind of aura of Stuffy Old or Hot New Classic. I almost always enjoy them when I've read them, even though I tend to have to shut myself on airplanes with them, or remove all other reading material from the immediate vicinity, or things like that. Previous New Year's resolution books include things like Moby-Dick, One Hundred Years of Solitude (which has turned out to be ridiculously useful), and The Sound and the Fury.

(In actuality, this is a years-long effort concentrated towards the eventual goal of making myself pick up A la recherche du temps perdu, which was one of my grandfather's favorite books and which he often expressed hope that I would read. It did not happen during his lifetime, but I have not given up hope.)

Anyway this year I decided to read Ulysses. And it has become obvious that I am not going to manage it without some kind of not only accountability, but ability to discuss it with people.

So this is the I-am-about-to-start-reading-Ulysses-if-anyone-else-wants-to post. I have: a copy of Ulysses, in my grandfather's very nice second American edition (if you think I'm trying to read all the books my grandfather loved and wanted to talk to me about, you're absolutely right); and Ulysses Annotated, by Don Gifford and Robert J. Seidman, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition (which should help with knowing nothing whatever about Irish politics at the time). I do not have as yet: a map of Dublin, although it is obvious from the one skim I took through the book that they ought to put one in the endpapers. I do not think I need: any help with the Odyssey, classical references, or literary references in general.

At this time next week, I'll put up a post discussing the first chunk, about twenty-five pages, and I'll do that weekly thereafter. I know I won't finish this year, but hey, I will finish. Read along, if you like, or not. I don't want this to be incredibly formal or anything.

Right now: tell me anything you want about Ulysses, or James Joyce, or secondary sources you think I might like, or why this is a stupid idea and I should go read Frantz Fanon or something, bearing in mind that I haven't read this book yet and so telling me about things that happen in several hundred pages is probably counter-productive.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
Every year I try to read an intimidating book.

By which I mean one it would be really nice to have read, on the grounds that I keep running into discussion of it, and also that people keep telling me it is good, but that I have no particular personal inclination towards given what I've heard, and that has some kind of aura of Stuffy Old or Hot New Classic. I almost always enjoy them when I've read them, even though I tend to have to shut myself on airplanes with them, or remove all other reading material from the immediate vicinity, or things like that. Previous New Year's resolution books include things like Moby-Dick, One Hundred Years of Solitude (which has turned out to be ridiculously useful), and The Sound and the Fury.

(In actuality, this is a years-long effort concentrated towards the eventual goal of making myself pick up A la recherche du temps perdu, which was one of my grandfather's favorite books and which he often expressed hope that I would read. It did not happen during his lifetime, but I have not given up hope.)

Anyway this year I decided to read Ulysses. And it has become obvious that I am not going to manage it without some kind of not only accountability, but ability to discuss it with people.

So this is the I-am-about-to-start-reading-Ulysses-if-anyone-else-wants-to post. I have: a copy of Ulysses, in my grandfather's very nice second American edition (if you think I'm trying to read all the books my grandfather loved and wanted to talk to me about, you're absolutely right); and Ulysses Annotated, by Don Gifford and Robert J. Seidman, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition (which should help with knowing nothing whatever about Irish politics at the time). I do not have as yet: a map of Dublin, although it is obvious from the one skim I took through the book that they ought to put one in the endpapers. I do not think I need: any help with the Odyssey, classical references, or literary references in general.

At this time next week, I'll put up a post discussing the first chunk, about twenty-five pages, and I'll do that weekly thereafter. I know I won't finish this year, but hey, I will finish. Read along, if you like, or not. I don't want this to be incredibly formal or anything.

Right now: tell me anything you want about Ulysses, or James Joyce, or secondary sources you think I might like, or why this is a stupid idea and I should go read Frantz Fanon or something, bearing in mind that I haven't read this book yet and so telling me about things that happen in several hundred pages is probably counter-productive.

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