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KevinS
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Post by KevinS » May 6th, 2019, 2:50 pm

I started a reading today---an 'orphan---and I couldn't go on with it. There was an offensive anti-Semitism within it and I just could let myself be associated with it. This, despite my being rather open-minded about the fair exchange of ideas and the reality that we are dealing with texts that are 100-years-old and older. History is history, I know, but I just couldn't go on with it.

Do others struggle with this? I could probably read "Huckleberry Finn" aloud, but I'm frankly glad others are doing the job. And even worse is to hide from past expressions and prejudice, I guess, but ... still ... it's tough.

Perhaps this has been discussed to death previously, but it's new to me as I have only recorded my own work in the past.
E agora, José?

lymiewithpurpose
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Post by lymiewithpurpose » May 6th, 2019, 2:55 pm

I'm fairly newish here too, but I have seen multiple discussions about this around the forum. The general consensus is that we leave the words in, even if the reader is uncomfortable with it. If you are not comfortable with it, then you can always give the section up :mrgreen:. Personally, I choose to read it anyways. I strongly am against using those terms, but I recognize that these books are from a different time period and did not have the same language code that often is seen today. I think of it as informational, I am reading the text to inform others of the culture in the past. Others choose to give it up :D. So pretty much it's up to you here if you want to read it or let somebody else do it :mrgreen:
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Post by philchenevert » May 6th, 2019, 7:17 pm

Kevin. You are to be commended for your cultural sensitiviness. As a world we have truly progressed to the point where at least some people don't want to indulge in the hatred we have wallowed in in the past . Progress is indeed being made. In a way this just strengthens our understanding of how negative thoughts and words can cause pain in others. Yes, we are indeed getting better as a race. :thumbs: :thumbs:
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lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » May 8th, 2019, 10:08 am

lymiewithpurpose wrote:
May 6th, 2019, 2:55 pm
I'm fairly newish here too, but I have seen multiple discussions about this around the forum. The general consensus is that we leave the words in, even if the reader is uncomfortable with it. If you are not comfortable with it, then you can always give the section up :mrgreen:. Personally, I choose to read it anyways. I strongly am against using those terms, but I recognize that these books are from a different time period and did not have the same language code that often is seen today. I think of it as informational, I am reading the text to inform others of the culture in the past. Others choose to give it up :D. So pretty much it's up to you here if you want to read it or let somebody else do it :mrgreen:
This is a good answer. I generally read "almost" anything, although I avoid religious texts, which I often find personally unpalatable. I also avoid obscene material, but only because I would find it hard not to laugh all the time, and so increase editing time, and also because finally I would find it pretty boring.

Kozmique
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Post by Kozmique » May 17th, 2019, 10:35 am

I'm finding that I must read everything thoroughly before signing up, though it slows me down considerably, because even the most innocuous story is likely to have some egregious stereotyping thrown in for no other reason except to reinforce the social order. Children's stories are lousy with this kind of coding. I understand the historical context, and I'm not comfortable dragging those old messages into the present in the absence of any sort of educational commentary. Unfortunately this knocks many books I enjoyed myself as a child out of the running, as well as most feminist treatises. Other people can go ahead and read that stuff for whatever historical value it contains between those passages, but they get the side-eye if they're too comfortable with it.

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » May 17th, 2019, 11:54 am

I wish there were a way of placing many of these books into their historical context, but I also understand why LibriVox does not do this.
E agora, José?

DACSoft
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Post by DACSoft » May 17th, 2019, 1:07 pm

One thing I've done with all my solos, is to include in the intro of the first section the year the book was published. For example,
"Chapter 1 of Baseball Joe of the Silver Stars, or The Rivals of Riverside, published 1912...."
This primarily helps the listener to know which edition or printing of the book was the source of the audio recording, especially when there are multiple editions or printings of the title. Often I have found when producing books for PG, that there are content differences between sources with different dates of publication, even when they are not identified as different editions.

A second useful purpose of the publication date is that it can help identify historical context, or at least make known to the listener the time period in which it was written.

The decision to record chapters or books containing stereotypes, -isms, -ists, -phobias, and other content which may be deemed offensive by today's standards is a highly personal choice. From my perspective (since the question was asked), I'll record just about anything. Values and mores have changed over the centuries, and are in many cases very much different today than they were in the past. When reading books from 100, 150, 200 or more years ago, I make no judgements of the content or views through the prism of today's attitudes. And just because I may read content that may be considered offensive to society today does not mean that my values agree with those in the reading, but I keep an open mind that the views may have been considered "standard" or "normal" at the time of the writing, and help increase my overall understanding of such historical periods, for all their faults and successes.

FWIW,
Don

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Post by lurcherlover » May 17th, 2019, 1:32 pm

I agree with this and it very much ties in with my feelings. In a book that I'm reading at present a character very early on refers to a person from China as a "chink." But in 1921 and even much later this was considered fairly normal, although in the last 20 years or so we have learnt to avoid such descriptions and now rightly consider them to be somewhat offensive. But authors of earlier periods also typecast their characters by making them say things and use words which were even somewhat offensive even then. I suppose modern writers could still use such a term and then have another character refute such language, and in a way educate readers into accepting that such words are offensive.

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Post by loon » June 19th, 2019, 2:14 am

I miss the Librivox Community Podcast. All the -isms in historic books would be/would have been a great topic for that podcast. The way authors tossed -isms into their books in the past should make us think about the assumptions we carry around in out heads today.
At the worst, -isms can make us as readers bite our tongues and pass on reading a chapter or a book. At best - I’m thinking about Huck Finn here - an author can keep pounding away at some -ism until we realize it’s time for us to just Grow Up, as individuals and as a society.
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TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » June 19th, 2019, 6:40 am

There are still community podcasts; they're just fewer and farther between. :)

Maybe someone will see your post and decide to head one on that topic! viewtopic.php?f=22&t=37182
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KevinS
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Post by KevinS » June 19th, 2019, 6:49 am

loon wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 2:14 am
I miss the Librivox Community Podcast.
What were these like?
E agora, José?

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » June 19th, 2019, 7:08 am

KevinS wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 6:49 am
loon wrote:
June 19th, 2019, 2:14 am
I miss the Librivox Community Podcast.
What were these like?
Take a listen for yourself! List is here: https://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Librivox_Community_Podcast
Experiences in the Panama Canal Zone during construction: Zone Policeman 88
Humorous Alcohol Fic/Poetry: The Old Soak, and Hail & Farewell
Insomnia Collection - boring works 30-70 minutes long

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