I saw this thread and it blew my mind:



As an author, it is her right to put in or not put into her book what she wants to convey her story.

If she doesn’t want to include translations for artistic reasons, she can.

I’ve read many books where the occasional non-English word is thrown in without a footnote, but generally it can be understood contextually.

I don’t know her book.  I don’t know if it’s lightly peppered with Mandarin or if it is a true bilingual book and characters exchange whole sentences in Mandarin.

Of course, the problem with not providing translations and telling readers to look it up themselves is that a direct translation from a dictionary might not convey the meaning the author intended.  This is particularly true with colloquilisms.

You could look up the words “lock,” “stock,” and “barrel” in an English to Mandarin dictionary, but it won’t tell you what “lock, stock, and barrel” means.  The Mandarin reader would be very confused.

What I do know is that this racist screed is pretty fucking offensive and is a great way to turn people off from reading her book.

I wrote this book for Chinese immigrants like me so I’m going to use language that you white people don’t understand and I won’t provide you with translations to make you feel alienated, and fuck you if you wonder why I did that.

I wonder if she will provide translations in editions not sold to white people so other POC who don’t speak Mandarin can feel more included?

What this does is confirm to me more and more that Woke is all about tormenting white people.

The Woke literary movement has pushed thr “de-colonize your bookshelf” movement for years.  Telling you as a white person that you need to read stories from non-white people to understand their experiences.  Now it’s saying those non-white people who don’t write in English shouldn’t provide translation, so you are going to do the translations yourself and probably not get it right and not understand what the author was trying to say.  There is nothing edifying about that.  It’s just a torment to make white readers feel uncomfortable.  But fuck them, they’re white.

With this attitude, she might sell a few copies to Woke white people who will never read the book but want to be seen with it on their bookshelves.   But for the most part I think white people who see this will opt not to buy the book.

I thought the goal of a writer was to sell as many copies of their book as possible, to spread their story, but I must not be Woke enough to understand how telling the largest book buying demographic in the country to go fuck itself is part of that marketing strategy.

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By J. Kb

17 thoughts on “I thought authors wanted people to read their books?”
  1. A while ago I read a biography of Albert Gallatin, written a century ago (at the suggestion of L. Neil Smith). It was very good, but difficult because it quoted long letters of his, in 18th century Swiss French. I still remember my high school French but not well. And today’s Americans usually don’t know French. But at the time it was probably a reasonable assumption that the audience for that book would have no trouble.
    What we have here is a different case, though. As you said, racist to the core, and more than that — by writing in Pinyin transliteration, she limits her audience only to speakers of Mandarin (not any of the other languages in China that incorrectly called “dialects”) and of those only the ones that know the Pinyin transliteration scheme. Pretty narrow-minded.

    1. Some authors, poets, or writers, seem to think that communication is not their job. They are wrong. Art is communication; if you create something that does not communicate to its audience, you’re a failure. This is the problem with most “abstract art”, “modern music” and things like that. Not only do the creators not communicate, they actually relish that fact.
      You can actually do things that are quite strange and still communicate. Escher’s drawings are an example, as are the weird paintings of Salvador Dali. For that matter, consider rap — I don’t call it “music” but it does, unfortunately, seem to communicate. What it communicates is a problem, and shouldn’t be communicated, but its creators intend to do so anyway and succeed at it.
      My wife and I had a friend in Vermont, a potter, pottery sculptor, and poet. Her poetry was the kind you could read out loud and understand perfectly (though you might have to look up an unfamiliar word once in a while). In the 19th century her name would probably have been familiar to millions; in the 20th century, not so much.

  2. I think immigrants like this are absolutely right about the need for America to “de-colonize ” . Send all these colonists back to their ‘superior’ homelands. The sooner the better.

  3. Someone will never get their own mansion on Woke Mountain and then blame racist white people for not buying her crap.

  4. I’d love to read Larry Correia’s take on this.
    Her long screed can be summarized, it seems to me, as “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.”
    I found it obnoxious when I first heard it (from Harley riders) for two reasons. First, the arrogance that I wouldn’t or couldn’t
    Second, the presumption that I cared enough to ask (or beg for enlightenment) in the first place. They couldn’t conceive of someone not wanting what they think they had.
    Strikes me the same here.

    1. Yeah I hope the ILOH catches wind of this twit and let’s fly. Since IIRC he’s a second generation immigrant himself and believes the purpose of writing is to be read this should be fun

  5. That… is just… Really? And she will complain about the bad reviews whining that people “just don’t understand” her writing… Maybe for a REASON!!! Gah…

  6. My first wife was a wannabe author. That’s not totally fair, she did get a fiction book published. And I think a book of poetry. I don’t know because I was no longer required to care about her before she published that book of poetry.

    She pitched her book while I was between jobs. She was going to make us a lot of money as an author. All I had to do is buy her her won Macintosh with the fancy monitor and stay out of her way. Oh, and edit her book for her.

    So it started a vampire book. And then it turned into a vampire book about a gay vampire. Then it turned into a vampire book about a gay vampire into BDSM.

    She was not the least bit interested in writing a book to sell. She was interested in writing her book. I cut so much crap out of the chapters I edited to bring it down to a tight story.

    As an author you can write for yourself or to sell. Read any of the conversations successful authors have about writing and you will find page after page where they cut and cut again in order to have a book that would sell.

  7. “What this does is confirm to me more and more that Woke is all about tormenting white people.”
    I thought it was about wanting to feel superior to anyone who didn’t agree with them.
    If she wants to sell six books worldwide, and finds a publisher willing to lose that kind of money, she’s welcome to that market.

    1. All she needs is some award or other and her publisher can “celebrate her as a member of our diverse family” (aka hold her up as the publishing equivalent of a diversity hire) on the swanky NYC cocktail party circuit. Until she’s no longer useful to them (timed out, they find a new shiny, she says the wrong thing to the wrong person, etc.) and then they drop her like yesterday’s cream pudding. Leaving her hurt, confused, and blaming anyone but the publisher and herself for setting her up like this.

  8. I must not be Woke enough to understand how telling the largest book buying demographic in the country to go fuck itself is part of that marketing strategy.

    Maybe the largest book burning demographic in the country will pick up a bunch of copies.

    From the dumpster, with the covers ripped off after they don’t sell.

    1. Larry does a great job of writing, of course. I’m pleased to note that my lady falls somewhere between L and M on the list. Working hard to get higher and I expect her to continue to move up the list.

  9. Like the feller said: “Their appeal is becoming more selective.” This is a good thing, right? Appealing only to a carefully-chosen clientele?
    The extreme case of this would be a book written entirely in a language no one understands, but that’s only cool once and it’s already been done (Codex Seraphinianus).

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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