Posts Tagged ‘Michael Livingston’

Captain Livingston has Beowulf’d and Chaucer’d “Shades of Milk and Honey”

My friend and Medieval scholar, Michael Livingston — for whom I named Captain Livingston — has written a post about the language in Shades of Milk and Honey. In it, he translates a few lines of the novel into  Old English and Middle English

Anyway, at one point Mary and I were talking about voicing and language patterns, and I told her (not for the first time) that I loved how she’d worked so hard to maintain the “Austen voice.” She thanked me, smiled, then mentioned that more than one reader has complained about how she wrote “Old English.”

We found this no end of amusing. Jane Austen, you see, wrote in the early 19th-century, and people stopped writing Old English around the 12th. The reader’s accusation was thus twice-wrong: (1) I think Mary does an excellent job within the linguistic constraints she set upon herself; and (2) Austen-speak is some 6 or 7 centuries away from Old English. Austen doesn’t sound a whit like Old English. For that matter, Austen doesn’t even sound like Middle English, which predates her by only a few centuries.

To illustrate, let’s look at a couple lines from Mary’s novel and see what they might look like in previous dialects.

Go read the full post, with his notes about what words he chose and why at: Kowal Beowulf’d and Chaucer’d: Shades of Milk and Honey « Michael Livingston. It is fascinating.

Cats and outlines

I feel guilty because I haven’t been posting much lately, but at the same time, life has sort of narrowed down into things that aren’t very interesting.  Or, rather, that aren’t very bloggable especially not after the flurry of props and puppetry posts.

Yesterday was fairly low-key, largely because I spent the day hanging out in the kitchen. Maggie would eat a few bites at a time if I was in there, so I hauled a chair in and hooked the computer up.  She eventually ate some White Chunk Tuna in oil with a fair bit of enthusiasm and even had some kibble.

Today, mysteriously, she likes the kibble and not the tuna.  The ways of ailing kitties are mysterious.  The kitchen floor has seven bowls of different food set out to tempt her. It’s a kitty buffet.

My big accomplishment yesterday was finishing the outline for Glamour in Glass, the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey.  With the help of Michael Livingston, I pounded out some details to make them clearer for people who aren’t in my head.  You know how it goes. “Interesting scene with local characters” makes total sense to me it’s just, um, not particularly clear to the rest of humanity.

I actually like outlines and at some point will post the two versions of the outline for folks to look at. There’s the one that’s meant for me, and there’s the one that’s “unpacked” to make sense for other people.

I sent the outline off to my wonder-agent, Jennifer Jackson
to see what she thinks and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with Maggie and Rob in the kitchen.  Today, Maggie seems to be feeling better, so we are alternating between the kitchen and the sofa.

Lake Chaucer’d (Listen!) : Michael Livingston

MaynryngOooo! More Chaucer’d treats at Michael Livingston’s. This time he’s done Jay Lake’s Mainspring.

Seventene degrees latitude approchynge, Hethor sawe th’Equinoccial Wal for the first time on lyve.

I’m not sure why I find this so endlessly fascinating. Even with such short snippets, I’m starting to feel like I can understand Middle English more, like it’s becoming just an accent.

And yes, that is another cover by me using the Historical Tale Construction Kit. It’s a nice break from the real job. Er, jobs.

Scalzi Chaucer’d (Listen!) : Michael Livingston

Old Mannes Werre Michael Livingston, in addition to being one of my favorite people, also happens to be a scholar of Middle English. I have just finished listening, twice, to his Chaucer’d excerpt of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

In a fit of rage against working on my syllabi for the coming term, I took a snippet from John Scalzi’s novel Old Man’s War (chapter 9 for those playing at home) and, well, Chaucer’d it. That is, I took Scalzi’s text and translated it into Chaucer’s dialect. Details follow the audio.

That’s right–audio in Middle English. Tee-hee, quod she. I mean, look at this.

“I can take a shot,” Watson said, sighting over his boulder. “Let me drill one of those things.”

“I kan tak a shote,” quod Watson, lookynge right over his rokke. “Graunte me striken oon.”

SFFreader » This Week’s New Short Fiction

Prime CodexSFFreader » This Week’s New Short Fiction

ON MY SHELF
Prime Codex, edited by Lawrence Schoen and Michael Livingston:
I picked this up at CONduit last weekend at a reading by Eric James Stone, who has published multiple stories in places like Analog SF and IGMS. He’s a member of the Codex Writers Group, and stories by members of that group comprise this anthology. Eric’s remarkable and moving story, “Salt of Judas” joins stories by new and exciting writers like Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Scholes, and Tobias Buckell. So if you want to read what the best of the new writers are writing, the Prime Codex anthology is a must-buy. Get your copy here.

If you are curious, you can listen to the audio version of my story here, before you pick up the anthology.

Listen to “Rampion”
[audio:rampion.mp3]