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Old 11-13-2019, 12:26 AM   #31
Turtle91
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Originally Posted by RobertDDL View Post
...What I have learned from this discussion, of course, is not to ask for help with my work here.
That's kind of a "I'll take my ball and go home" attitude isn't it??

As a matter of fact, your question was answered by the very first person after your OP. Everyone else, except for one individual who is well known for presenting his opinion as fact and trying to impose it on everyone else, has agreed that you can do whatever you want with PD books. However, they have also given many reasons on why you should, or should not, do it.

That is called a discussion.

It is also meant to help other people who may read this thread in the future, not just yourself.

It appears you just don't happen to like their opinions. If you don't wish to listen to dissenting opinion, then you of course have the right to take your ball... but, it is most definitely your loss. Many people are able to get all kinds of help from the people of this forum.

Cheers,
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:34 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Robert, most people on MR who would want to read that book would want to do so as it was originally published and not how you think it should be. So wake up and stop it. Given that most people here won't want your version, either post it someplace else or do it as we want it which is as it was published.
What makes you think that I have ever uploaded, or have intended to upload, any books here? I have my own website, where I publish the books I have selected, edited and typeset.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:34 AM   #33
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It appears you just don't happen to like their opinions. If you don't wish to listen to dissenting opinion, then you of course have the right to take your ball... but, it is most definitely your loss. Many people are able to get all kinds of help from the people of this forum.

Cheers,
I am willling to listen to dissenting opinions, but "So wake up and stop it" is not an opinion, it is an order, about which little discussion seems possible. I know that people get help on this forum (I have even occasionally tried to give it myself), but it seems pointless to ask further help regarding how I should do something, from people who think it wrong that I do it at all.

I'm still willing to discuss the pros and cons of modernising orthography and fixing errors in PD books, and the possibility, or not, of knowing authors' intentions about how their texts should be published in future centuries. I think I am faithful to Mary Shelley's intentions when in The Last Man I leave the hyphen out of "to-day" - I do not think her intention was that 200 years later this spelling should give her text an outdated and somewhat quaint flavor. The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris, on the other hand, who uses a deliberately antiquated language, would suffer from such a change.

BTW, I hadn't known about Danish, but it's the same in German. Publishing an 18th century text today with its original orthography is utterly out of the question, except maybe for the use of historians. Does anyone know about French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, etc.?
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:45 AM   #34
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Robert, how do we know your "modernization" is correct? That's part of the problem. If you get it wrong, you can change the meaning of the author.

A compromise would be to put out two versions. One as it was published and the other your version and let the reader decide which one to read.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:53 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by RobertDDL View Post
I am willling to listen to dissenting opinions, but "So wake up and stop it" is not an opinion, it is an order, about which little discussion seems possible.
I agree, and note that the person who issued that order has not apologised for, or even acknowledged, his error in making that command based on his unsupported and erroneous assumption that you were intending to upload your work here. Your feeling somewhat aggrieved in these circumstances is understandable.

Last edited by Uncle Robin; 11-13-2019 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:04 AM   #36
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I am willling to listen to dissenting opinions, but "So wake up and stop it" is not an opinion, it is an order, about which little discussion seems possible....
This is the one individual to whom I was referring. He is very knowledgeable and often quite helpful. You just need to take his decrees with a very large grain of salt!
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:25 AM   #37
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This is the one individual to whom I was referring. He is very knowledgeable and often quite helpful.
Also, apparently quite unaware of any need to admit when he's wrong after berating someone in terms bordering on the uncivil for something they hadn't done, and which was based on his own utterly unsupported assumptions. Being knowledgeable is no excuse for being arrogant and bullying. Perhaps saying "I was wrong, I'm sorry" falls outside the realm of things which a curmudgeon knows.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:11 AM   #38
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Robert, how do we know your "modernization" is correct? That's part of the problem. If you get it wrong, you can change the meaning of the author.
How do you know this about any edition, digital or print, that isn't a facsimile copy of the first edition? Until very recently, new editions have always been made by manually re-typesetting the text, with intentional and unintentional changes creeping in.

All editing has to be done carefully, but modernizing orthography will rarely risk changing the meaning, particularly since in English only few words are spelled differently now than they were in the 18th or 19th century. Punctuation can be more challenging, and when you look at 19th century print editions you can find commas strewn across the text as if they'd been distributed with a salt shaker (and no, I'm not talking about specks in the paper turning into phantom OCR punctuation). Most corrections of all kinds of obvious errors will hopefully not go against the author's intentions, but I fully agree, each "error" has to be checked against the possibility that it had been intentional, and if in doubt, the correction should be documented.

For reference I use the oldest print edition that I can lay my eyes on, but admittedly I search for scanned copies on the Internet and do not buy rare first editions from antique books sellers, nor do I search for them in libraries. Someone might be able to do a better job than I'm doing, but then, they'd probably ask to be paid for their efforts, or might limit their work to a smaller number of books.

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A compromise would be to put out two versions. One as it was published and the other your version and let the reader decide which one to read.
But this is something that the reader can already do - not that they need me to tell them, but on my website I have links to Project Gutenberg, Project Gutenberg Australia, Wikisource, The Online Books Page, Librivox, and the MobileRead Forum (all of which are far better known than my site, anyway) - there they can easily find different editions, which they may prefer to read. I'm not depriving anyone of their choice.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:15 AM   #39
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Being knowledgeable is no excuse for being arrogant and bullying.
It's forgiven!
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:31 PM   #40
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But this is something that the reader can already do - not that they need me to tell them, but on my website I have links to Project Gutenberg, Project Gutenberg Australia, Wikisource, The Online Books Page, Librivox, and the MobileRead Forum (all of which are far better known than my site, anyway) - there they can easily find different editions, which they may prefer to read. I'm not depriving anyone of their choice.
But if your already fixing up the formatting and any errors (not modernization, but real errors), then your copy will be better then wherever you got it from. Then you go and modernize it leaving a link to where you got it from with errors when you could have posted a version that has no or less errors. Also, you will have formatted it properly. I find that Project Gutenberg's auto-ePub doesn't do all that great a job.

The other thing you can do is post the eBook here and post a link to your website. That would get more visits to your site.

If you post both a copy with and without modernization, then more people will read it as they have the choice of which version they want.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:32 PM   #41
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The other thing you can do is post the eBook here and post a link to your website. That would get more visits to your site.

If you post both a copy with and without modernization, then more people will read it as they have the choice of which version they want.
See now, there you go Wolfie. That's a good idea. That way, everybody gets what they want. RobertDDL gets to put up his edited versions, the purists get the less-fixed version, and RobertDDL gets more traffic. Everybody wins.

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Old 11-14-2019, 10:11 AM   #42
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See now, there you go Wolfie. That's a good idea. That way, everybody gets what they want. RobertDDL gets to put up his edited versions, the purists get the less-fixed version, and RobertDDL gets more traffic. Everybody wins.

Hitch
Except that, sorry, I won't do it. With each comma or letter that I change I'd have to decide, is this a correction, or is this an edit? Sometimes, it's not easy to decide - this superfluous comma here, was that a speck on the paper, or was it in the print edition that (for instance) Gutenberg has scanned? When it's not a speck but a printing error, can I remove it? And fixing other printing or OCR errors - correction, or edit? A mis-spelling of a character's name in one instance - should I correct it? There are so many instances where it doesn't seem clear-cut to me - and why would you trust me to make the right decisions? And what about my footnotes, for instance - would they be included in the "purist" version or not? My author's biographies? And changing chapter numbers from Roman to Arabic - permissible or not?

I wouldn't be able to make two versions, a purist and an edited one, with "editing" and "correcting" neatly and unquestionably separated. And even if I could, making two separate editions would about double the amount of my work.

With my own editions, I am only answerable to my own judgment. I want to keep it that way. I had not wanted to start this discussion, I had not remotely expected it to start - all I had wanted was to get an answer to a little problem that had vexed me, how to deal with a set of two conflicting rules, or at least to me they had seemed to conflict in the case in question. I have worked on my website and on my editions for ten years now, and, as long as I can, I'll keep working on them - this is not something I feel the need to compromise on.

And as to the increased traffic I'd get, if most people here prefer the "purist" version, and I posted it here, then they woudn't go to my website for the edited version, would they? And since I don't have anything to sell (not even visitors' data to Google), more traffic isn't that important to me.

No, I'll keep doing my work, and some will approve, and others won't, but they won't be harmed by it.
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:09 AM   #43
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No, I'll keep doing my work, and some will approve, and others won't, but they won't be harmed by it.
Will you be happy with your work? That's the only real question.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:16 AM   #44
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Though I'm a bit obsessive about original spellings etc. myself, I'll agree that modernization of spelling and punctuation is absolutely legitimate. Editors of classic texts have been doing it for ages. The older the text, the more the strangeness of spelling and punctuation can distract from the text itself, so I can understand every reader who prefers modernized spellings. I still remember vividly the time in 8th or 9th grade when we read one of Goethe's plays (I'm German) in the original spelling -- it took quite a while before we stopped making jokes about some of the -- to us -- weirdest spellings; I am sure we would have arrived at the content of the play sooner if we'd read it in modernized spelling.

And "original" spelling has its pitfalls too. Sometimes editors have felt entitled to make major changes, especially if they thought the writer lacked education (John Clare is a famous example). Or in German there's Heine, who for instance liked to spell his /ai/ sounds "ey", which was already becoming old-fashioned in his day, so many magazine editors who published his poetry modernized it to "ei." Some modern editors, aiming to be true to the author's intention, changed it back to "ey," even though some poems were never printed that way. Of course that is all well and good in a heavily footnoted critical edition, but how would you decide if you wanted to prepare a reading edition?

Or, in the case of John Clare, on the one hand it is known that he had bitter arguments with his editor about some changes, but on the other hand nobody can say for sure if he really wanted to see all his spelling errors in print.

Hence, there is no Golden Rule here, except: do what you like, best indicate your editing policy, and find happy readers.

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Old 11-17-2019, 11:40 PM   #45
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Except that, sorry, I won't do it. With each comma or letter that I change I'd have to decide, is this a correction, or is this an edit? Sometimes, it's not easy to decide - this superfluous comma here, was that a speck on the paper, or was it in the print edition that (for instance) Gutenberg has scanned? When it's not a speck but a printing error, can I remove it? And fixing other printing or OCR errors - correction, or edit? A mis-spelling of a character's name in one instance - should I correct it? There are so many instances where it doesn't seem clear-cut to me - and why would you trust me to make the right decisions? And what about my footnotes, for instance - would they be included in the "purist" version or not? My author's biographies? And changing chapter numbers from Roman to Arabic - permissible or not?

I wouldn't be able to make two versions, a purist and an edited one, with "editing" and "correcting" neatly and unquestionably separated. And even if I could, making two separate editions would about double the amount of my work.

With my own editions, I am only answerable to my own judgment. I want to keep it that way. I had not wanted to start this discussion, I had not remotely expected it to start - all I had wanted was to get an answer to a little problem that had vexed me, how to deal with a set of two conflicting rules, or at least to me they had seemed to conflict in the case in question. I have worked on my website and on my editions for ten years now, and, as long as I can, I'll keep working on them - this is not something I feel the need to compromise on.

And as to the increased traffic I'd get, if most people here prefer the "purist" version, and I posted it here, then they woudn't go to my website for the edited version, would they? And since I don't have anything to sell (not even visitors' data to Google), more traffic isn't that important to me.

No, I'll keep doing my work, and some will approve, and others won't, but they won't be harmed by it.
You really need to get your eyes tested if you cannot tell the difference between a speck and a comma. If that's your reaon for not doing an unmodified version, then I feel sorry for you.
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