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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:15 pm 


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scrilla wrote:
What do you do if you need to split a huge pdf file into some smaller parts? I have a collection of fairy tales and want to split the file into single pieces and send them to my kids. How can I do that in the most simple way?.

I wouldn't install a separate application onto my PC in your place. Better use a great online service pdf.io. It is really simple with intuitive interface.


Last edited by Blackfielding on Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:55 am 


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Not sure if I like the official English title*, but here it is - Defending the Motherland. The Soviet Women Who Fought Hitler's Aces by Lyuba Vinogradova, who once had greatly helped Antony Beevor gather historical sources founding the Stalingrad book of his.
While written in Russian, it was clearly done with export in mind. Some of its exposition must be trivial for an Eastern-European reader. It is, however, distinctly "feminine" in approach to detail. You'll get to read about perception of literature read at war (those were the days before TV, never mind smartphones), disciplines, make-up, fuel, grease, underwear, hunger, disease and so on. I am not trying to be condenscending. The book's about World War II's female Soviet military pilots - not only the so called Night Witches; they were also designated as heavy bombing and fighter aircraft pilots. And, in all fairness, not only female pilots, but also female navigators and female ground staff. I find it difficult to say something exhaustive about such a book. It is panoptical.
And it's genuinely sympathetic to Ukraine and Belarus, dare I say - this alone makes it pretty outstanding within context.

*) Come to think of it, I do.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:37 pm 


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Just finished Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. I genuinely disliked all the characters in the book except for Kaladin who was awesome. The story is split pretty evenly with Kaladin and Shallan. Shallan I found to be extremely dull and I was genuinely looking forward to getting finished with her parts of the story and getting back to Kaladin. Maybe she gets more interesting in the next book. I don’t know.

Didn’t care much for a huge part of the book being dedicated to finding out the truth about a assassination attempt either.

Still the world building and lore was interesting. Probably will start in on the next book later but I have to admit I was expecting more considering all the high praise this series has received. So yeah to me less than half of this book was enjoyable. But that part was pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:21 pm 


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review #1 - Boris and Arkadi Strugatsky - The Inhabited Island
(recent translation of old Soviet sci-fi)
A future Earth man travelling the universe becomes stranded on an unknown planet populated by non-space-faring humanoids. He finds himself in a country scarred by war, where large numbers of people display an irrational devotion to nameless leaders, and a small minority who are not thusly afflicted are viewed with suspicion or hunted down. Meanwhile, there are autonomous war machines, mutants, and hostile neighboring nations to worry about. Will our hero manage to understand this world? What role will he fill?

Verdict: Better than the average anime plotline. Feels relevant to the present time. Thumbs up.

review #2 - Klaus Schwab, Thierry Malleret - COVID-19 The Great Reset
Rumour has it that this is the book where the WEF maestro lays out his plans for world domination. I read the book and found that it is really just the ramblings of an out-of-touch, wealthy technocrat. There is nothing in it to convince me that the authors are capable of formulating a plan to take the garbage out on a day when their servants aren't available, much less formulate a plan to bring many nations under one authority. That's not to say that there is nothing here to be concerned about, since the worldview presented is clearly deficient, and this worldview is likely shared by similarly out-of-touch, wealthy technocrats throughout 'the west', who are over-represented in government and corporate structures.

The book offers many observations and asks many questions, but is light on insight or conclusions. It reminds me of the time the Dalai Lama wrote a book about physics. There is a certain naivite and unsubstantiated optimism that permeates the book. The dot-com boom must never have ended for the authors, as they are in love with ideas like online commerce, work-from-home, tracking and tracing phone apps, "smart toilets", e-sports, and "exercising online instead of going to the gym" (WTF?)

Governments are assumed to be both benevolent and omnipotent. The word 'corruption' only appears twice, and only in reference to "poor" and "African" countries (OMG rayciss!). The authors insist that international cooperation is necessary to solve, mainly, environmental problems, though inequality and other social issues are also mentioned. But at the same time, the book is overflowing with reasons why this won't be successful. The conflict between democracy, national sovereignty, and globalization (ie. pick two) is noted. The unfortunate meeting of globalization and a pandemic, in terms of spreading the disease, supply chain breakdowns, and subsequent tendencies toward scapegoating and protectionism, is noted. The uneven economic damage caused by the pandemic and associated mititgation measures, as well as the expected winners and losers of future trends are noted. That the hugely disruptive lockdowns only led to an 8% drop in carbon emissions is noted.

in summary:
"Yo dudes, we heard there is a pandemic that's totally screwing everything up. Ain't that wild? But after you're done with that, can't we put a bunch of bureaucrats in a room and have them fix climate change? Thx."


Last edited by ED-057 on Sat Apr 30, 2022 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 1:20 pm 



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Just finished My Year Of Rest And Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfeghand it was AMAZING.

I’m about 160 pages into Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn and the only interesting bits were about Cyprus and Chernobyl.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 1:45 am 


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Started the Heat 2 book... about 175 pages in a few days, and I'm a terribly shitty reader. It's fantastic.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2022 2:42 am 


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BitGid wrote:
Just finished My Year Of Rest And Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfeghand it was AMAZING.


I was almost a bit jealous of her at times. Wouldn't it be nice to just write it all off for a while? Though I imagine anyone actually doing that would take years off their life, if they didn't end it in the process.

I'm about halfway through Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The narrator is delightfully mad.
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 Post subject: I'm sorry Ms Jackson
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:50 am 


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CStarFlare wrote:
I'm about halfway through Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The narrator is delightfully mad.


Sounds nice. How's Jackson overall? I've only read the most obvious: Hill House; not that I disliked it, but it's very much in the (warped) mindfields of the group. I'll say it's the style choice that I stubbed my toe on, not the creep. Too much intrusion of an narrator who knows all the feels of everybody. It's not for me.
Is her other stuff similar? Thought of picking her shorts, but remain hesitant.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:03 am 



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I've been on a chinese fiction kick recently. Spent a couple years reading and rereading multiple english translations of both Romance of the Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin. Just recently, I finished Legend of the Condor Heroes. The officially-translated version of the latter was quite unsatisfying, as translations go. Many lines were removed or dumbed down, and certain names were literally translated as words, which is always the worst. Some of the translated names are okay, such as Viper Ouyang. But others, like Mercy Mu, Count Seven Hong, Apothecary Huang and Woodcutter Nan, are just horrible. The translation would have been better if all names were left untranslated. Names are names. I do not need to know the "meaning" of the name, and if I do then that information can be provided parenthetically.

There are some decent translations of RotK and Water Margin, however. Sidney Shapiro's work is extremely readable. The other translations suffer from being too stiff, only translating the "short" version of Water Margin, employing the Wade-Giles romanization and/or translating the names of characters literally. So a character like Ximen Qing becomes "Lord Westgate." Presumably because his name means "west gate." :roll: Shapiro's work does not commit this fault and leaves the names alone.

RotK has many translations and the ones I am familiar with were mostly fine. As I don't speak or read chinese, I can only comment on the readability of the prose and how the translation does or doesn't add absurd "english-isms" to the story.

Do I need to comment on the quality of any of these stories? They are all classic works. What's the point of me saying "yes, I liked it" when I bring up The Count of Monte Cristo? :lol: For its age, The Water Margin remains an absolute blast and I continue to read and reread it whenever I'm in the mood for some righteous, evil-slaying banditry.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:43 pm 


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Just picked up two books by Brian Catling, Hollow and Earwig. I didn't realise he had anything other than the vorrh trilogy published! really excited to read these. I think he's an absolute genius!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm sorry Ms Jackson
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:16 pm 


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NYN wrote:
Sounds nice. How's Jackson overall? I've only read the most obvious: Hill House; not that I disliked it, but it's very much in the (warped) mindfields of the group. I'll say it's the style choice that I stubbed my toe on, not the creep. Too much intrusion of an narrator who knows all the feels of everybody. It's not for me.
Is her other stuff similar? Thought of picking her shorts, but remain hesitant.


I've only read this and Hill House, and that's been almost a decade. We Have Always Lived in the Castle's narrator does narrate as though she knows what others are thinking, but you start to notice her odd patterns of thinking and it's pretty clear that she's not connected to the logical structure of the world so it doesn't feel like a narrator who knows things she shouldn't.

I think it's a wonderful book, and at 150 pages it's not a big commitment. It seems to be her highest-praised work so if you're Jackson curious this does seem like the one to try. It's got me thinking of going back to Hill House, though I remember enjoying it a lot more than you did. :)
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 2:39 am 


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Sima Tuna wrote:
I've been on a chinese fiction kick recently. Spent a couple years reading and rereading multiple english translations of both Romance of the Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin.

Just recently, I finished Legend of the Condor Heroes. The officially-translated version of the latter was quite unsatisfying, as translations go. Many lines were removed or dumbed down, and certain names were literally translated as words, which is always the worst. Some of the translated names are okay, such as Viper Ouyang. But others, like Mercy Mu, Count Seven Hong, Apothecary Huang and Woodcutter Nan, are just horrible. The translation would have been better if all names were left untranslated. Names are names. I do not need to know the "meaning" of the name, and if I do then that information can be provided parenthetically.

There are some decent translations of RotK and Water Margin, however. Sidney Shapiro's work is extremely readable. The other translations suffer from being too stiff, only translating the "short" version of Water Margin, employing the Wade-Giles romanization and/or translating the names of characters literally. So a character like Ximen Qing becomes "Lord Westgate." Presumably because his name means "west gate." :roll: Shapiro's work does not commit this fault and leaves the names alone.

RotK has many translations and the ones I am familiar with were mostly fine. As I don't speak or read chinese, I can only comment on the readability of the prose and how the translation does or doesn't add absurd "english-isms" to the story.

Do I need to comment on the quality of any of these stories? They are all classic works. What's the point of me saying "yes, I liked it" when I bring up The Count of Monte Cristo? :lol: For its age, The Water Margin remains an absolute blast and I continue to read and reread it whenever I'm in the mood for some righteous, evil-slaying banditry.

Thanks for this. I wish more were interested in the classics!

Do you have a name or two for a translation that doesn't introduce absurd anachronisms and unusual Anglicisms, "translate names" literally, or use the short version of Water Margin? I can live with a stiff translation just fine (the academic in me, I suppose), but these are unforgivable sins of translation. Have you ever read Yu Sumei's translation of RotTK?

I've been wanting to read Sima Qian and RotTK for years (going on 20 now), but never got around to it because of translation issues. I did end up finding good translations of the DDJ and Art of War, thankfully, but the fiction and historical stuff has been more elusive. (Not to mention Sima Qian's volumes are numerous, and I'm not sure all of it has ever been put into another language other than Chinese.)


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:01 pm 



Joined: 21 Sep 2021
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o.pwuaioc wrote:
Sima Tuna wrote:
I've been on a chinese fiction kick recently. Spent a couple years reading and rereading multiple english translations of both Romance of the Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin.

Just recently, I finished Legend of the Condor Heroes. The officially-translated version of the latter was quite unsatisfying, as translations go. Many lines were removed or dumbed down, and certain names were literally translated as words, which is always the worst. Some of the translated names are okay, such as Viper Ouyang. But others, like Mercy Mu, Count Seven Hong, Apothecary Huang and Woodcutter Nan, are just horrible. The translation would have been better if all names were left untranslated. Names are names. I do not need to know the "meaning" of the name, and if I do then that information can be provided parenthetically.

There are some decent translations of RotK and Water Margin, however. Sidney Shapiro's work is extremely readable. The other translations suffer from being too stiff, only translating the "short" version of Water Margin, employing the Wade-Giles romanization and/or translating the names of characters literally. So a character like Ximen Qing becomes "Lord Westgate." Presumably because his name means "west gate." :roll: Shapiro's work does not commit this fault and leaves the names alone.

RotK has many translations and the ones I am familiar with were mostly fine. As I don't speak or read chinese, I can only comment on the readability of the prose and how the translation does or doesn't add absurd "english-isms" to the story.

Do I need to comment on the quality of any of these stories? They are all classic works. What's the point of me saying "yes, I liked it" when I bring up The Count of Monte Cristo? :lol: For its age, The Water Margin remains an absolute blast and I continue to read and reread it whenever I'm in the mood for some righteous, evil-slaying banditry.

Thanks for this. I wish more were interested in the classics!

Do you have a name or two for a translation that doesn't introduce absurd anachronisms and unusual Anglicisms, "translate names" literally, or use the short version of Water Margin? I can live with a stiff translation just fine (the academic in me, I suppose), but these are unforgivable sins of translation. Have you ever read Yu Sumei's translation of RotTK?

I've been wanting to read Sima Qian and RotTK for years (going on 20 now), but never got around to it because of translation issues. I did end up finding good translations of the DDJ and Art of War, thankfully, but the fiction and historical stuff has been more elusive. (Not to mention Sima Qian's volumes are numerous, and I'm not sure all of it has ever been put into another language other than Chinese.)

The Yu Sumei translation of RotK is the one I'm familiar with.

https://www.amazon.com/Three-Kingdoms-C ... 366&sr=8-2

I have read at least one other translation of RotK, but it employed the Wade-Giles romanization and was quite a bit harder to understand as a result. The Yu Sumei translation is excellent imo. I can only speak as an english reader, so it's possible there are nuances not communicated by the translation. But it does not translate names literally and it's very readable. I've read the books cover to cover many times, and these are the versions I read whenever I reach for RotK.

As far as I know, the two primary english translations of The Water Margin available commercially are the J.H. Jackson translation and Sydney Shapiro translation. The J.H. Jackson one is stiff (even the updated re-edit sold by Tuttle,) covers only the "short version" of the Water Margin story and has other issues. One advantage of the J.H. Jackson re-edit is they edited back in a lot of the profanity, violence and vulgarity which was part of the original story. But it's still using the short version translation, and I can't recommend it.

https://www.amazon.com/Outlaws-Chinese- ... 6628&psc=1

^This is the "small paperback" 4-volume edition of Sydney Shapiro's translation. Of the commercially available translations of Water Margin, I think this one is the best. It's easy to read, highly entertaining and contains the full novel. There are some minor problems even with this edition, such as a few typos. But this is still the translation I read. Now, the Shapiro translation is available a few different ways. You can also find it as a 2-volume giant softcover "easy reader" edition with large print. That's probably the most enjoyable way to experience the story, but it's a bit bulky. I prefer the 4-volume set because you can carry a book with you wherever you go and slide it into a pocket easily.

There are little mangas and comics of both RotK and Water Margin. I've read a few of the RotK ones. They're neat, but I think they work best when you're already familiar with the story. Many RotK/Water Margin adaptations abridge the events of the stories too much. I think some might be confused by those versions if they're new, as story beats will happen too quickly.

I should mention the 2010 RotK television adaptation, which is freely available in full on YouTube. Rather than abridging, it expands the story out to 90ish episodes of an hour each. I could read the entire novel in less time, so they added quite a lot. It's not 100% faithful to the novel, but I think most of its embellishments are in the name of good drama and character development. You get a lot of time with each principle character (more so than the book,) and the actors are great. The costumes, sound design and fight scenes are extremely amateurish, but this is mostly a tv show about people talking to each other (plotting, discussing morality, debating). If you focus on that part of the show, you'll have a lot of fun with it.

The Three Kingdoms subreddit over on Reddit is probably the best place to ask about translations of other chinese works. Even if a commercial translation doesn't exist, the people there will probably have some idea of fan translation websites you can look into. That subreddit is home to many chinese literature scholars and fanatics.

Unfortunately, a lot of chinese works, including very famous ones, are still untranslated. The (highly flawed) Condor Heroes translation is a recent phenomenon, and it's the only commercial english translation available anywhere. If you want a better version in English, then you have no choice but to go with fan translations.

https://wuxiasociety.com/translations/

Here is a website for you to check out. They have many fan translations of chinese wuxia novels here. Of course, this is only wuxia genre fiction and not historical fiction like RotK. But if you're looking for more english fan translations, this is one of the major sources I know of.


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 Post subject: the castle in the Jackson
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 4:11 pm 


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CStarFlare wrote:
I think it's a wonderful book, and at 150 pages it's not a big commitment. It seems to be her highest-praised work so if you're Jackson curious this does seem like the one to try. It's got me thinking of going back to Hill House, though I remember enjoying it a lot more than you did. :)


Thanks! Next for a Jackson novel. Sounds like the Castle could be the flip side to the House in style for me.
For the shorts I'll just play The Lottery and others and see if I get lucky there.
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 Post subject: save tradition, play the lottery!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2022 5:47 pm 


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Action to words, I went to read The Lottery and Other Stories and finished it. I gained much respect for the gal as a writer. She writes about working gals, children and mothers, husbands and other folks, and it never rubbed me as banal. Always underlying the surface with something or some thing. Not much is straight horror, mind you, and yes, it's the fine stuff. Clear to see why she is taught in school with being neat as she is. To me, that takes some appeal from any writer, but I can't say that was her goal. Funny, bizarre, satire, surreal, quaint: Jackson does it all. I relished in particular 2 stories that have a strong stance on the segregation of her era, haven't read much about that from others. That's the stuff. I've decided I'm going for her Hangsaman next.
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