Monday, February 25, 2008

Audio & previews

I have just got off the phone with Humphrey Bower, a gentleman, a scholar and the narrator of the audio edition of MBT. He had a long list of pronunciation clarifications to go through, which took us about an hour yet only got us about 2/3 the way through the text. Sharing the work in this way is a great joy; Humphrey knows more about Latin (and almost every other language I plunder) and brings his learning into the process, saying what might be the most correct sounds. We do not always go with these but it is very edifying and a joy to share with someone who also loves a bit of linguistic play.

It is actually sometimes a little baffling just how to say some words because they sound fine in my head but come out oddly on the tongue. I have been hacked at in the past for making words too complex, too "wordy" - but when you are playing with language what is the point if you can't invent a few apparently unpronouncables [not a real word].

So, spare a thought for Humphrey this week, clambering through the tangled texts of Lamplighter.

On another positive, Drew has put up a preview of his review of Book 2 - a very mild bit of spoilage (if you don't mind me saying so, Drew) just for those who want to be completely fresh when they read the Lamplighter (is it just me or does April/May seem like forever away..? Probably not very helpful of me to say that... We are getting there, not much longer now really).

Also, upon advice from my wife, I have grown a beard for the first time in my life. I feel very manly, very Ernest Hemingway.


Winter said...

Hello again.

I was delighted by your post about the maps of the HC. Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by maps. I've spent hours studying them, and have even created some of my own. I love the HC map. So much detail, I found it engrossing, and have speculated on much of it. Can't wait to read about more of the locales.

I also had a chuckle over your pronouncables and unpronouncables quandry. I can recall a specific incident where I was asked for the pronunciation of a name I had created. It looked good on paper, and sounded good in my head, but after saying it a few times I realized the combination of consonants I had created was quite cumbersome!

I see gives the release date here as May 1st. So far away indeed! :)

Anonymous said...

Please let me know if there are bits of this review you think are too spoilerish-- I'd prefer not to give away major plot elements that you want to keep hidden, even in regards to how I describe certain characters.

Drew said...

I've revised my reviews on the blog and on the SFRevu site (as yet unpublished)-- they should be quite a bit less "spoilery" now! :)

D.M. Cornish said...

It is not that spoilery really, only in the sense that a blurb might be, clues of Europe being back in the story, that kind of stuff. Sorry to cause any distress - I am probaby being a bit stuffy about keeping it as pure an experience as possible.

The review is great, I think I put the spoiler warning on there a tad redundantly - people know reviews give something away, some slight hint of things; even ones as astutely sensative as yours cannot help this.

So please ignore me,I am being a fuss-pot.

D.M. Cornish said...

Oh and Winter, the word I was most thinking of when writing this post was "quabard", the vest like proofing usually worn over one's frock-or-other-kind-of-coat. Looks ok on paper, even sounds good in the head, but just try getting your tongue about it folks.

Is it: "QWE bard", "KAY bard", "KUH bard" Hmm.... Such is the discusion Humphrey and I have had. I have not been able to comfortable resolve the sound so I am thinking of ever-so-subtly changing it to catrebard in further books.

Never had this problem when was just me in my room coming up with stuff for my own entertainment. Still it is a good problem to have...

Anonymous said...

Or would the emphasis perhaps be on the second syllable? "kwuh-BARD", or "kuh-BAR" if you wanted to be a little French. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I have something of a fondness for linguistics myself.

Anonymous said...

No problem; I try to be sensitive to the author's intent and not ruin major plot points (like saying "Frodo keeps the ring!" or something). However, in this instance, it'd be hard to write a fair review without mentioning Europe at least once.
In any event, I've reworked the review a bit on my blog so that anything dicey is toned down or cut out altogether (there WAS something that was very spoilery in retrospect that's now gone completely).
Anyway, glad you like what you've seen so far. The SFRevu item will be somewhat longer.
all best,
PS, don't forget-- we've agreed to an author interview to run with the review-- let me know how you want to set that up.

Anonymous said...

Don't change the word! Continuity and consistency is key.

D.M. Cornish said...

Ahh, Jamie if only you knew how different the Half-Continent was in those early years to what it is now - always changing, always refining, always taking in feedback. This is my process but I will most certainly do my utmost not to break it, to not spoil it for you. If you see me going astray, please, let me know, sir.

"Catrebard" will most probably be a regional difference - one of advantages of having multi-cultural setting.

And Drew I am ready for an interview when you are, sir.

D.M. Cornish said...

And you are absolutely right, Kate, the emphasis is on the "BARD". I most commonly say "kuh'BARD" in my head.

Glossaphile = lover of words?

jfgarnant said...

d.m. cornish-
I must confess I am amazed that you do try to answer questions that are asked of you, so thanks. As for being more than 3 or 4 or...gasp...5 books, nobody on this blog would complain, rest assured. Beside's your comment about..."Yet even if MBT is done in three, there will (I most sincerely hope) be other citizens' of the Half-Continent stories to tell (does that even make sense?)"...makes perfect sense.
Drew's review was good and it did not seem like he revealed too much, just the obvious, in my opinion at least.
Any idea when the website map will be up and functioning?
Devoted reader,

D.M. Cornish said...

Well I do my best, sir, and as for the H-c Map Site - I am surely working on it (well actually I am working almost solely on Book 3, with occasional visits here to see how you are all doing). It's a-coming, Lord-willing, it's a-coming.