Miscellany

Mar. 11th, 2010 10:34 am
lennan: (Default)
[personal profile] lennan
I get really annoyed when I post some art and it gets no response and then I get all depressed. I'm not annoyed by the lack of response, since really it's telling me that I'm doing things wrong or not appealing to an audience. Or it was a flop. What I get annoyed by is the resulting depression, or more like down-heartedness. The reason being, it usually ends up translating into self-berating and self-criticism along the "You're just not good enough" line. Which may be true. But still, I don't need myself to discourage myself from continuing on with what I like to do. I hate how my thinking is always torn between figuring out how to reach the widest audience possible and just doing what I really want with my ideas without giving a damn. It doesn't help at all that there's a lot of things I need to work on, like composition and the like. Or maybe, I really should just give up. >_> Note that I won't because I'm obstinate.

But by far, the biggest reason why I hate feeling like this is because it makes me feel like a petulant spoilt brat.


This morning, I read an entry by [personal profile] nojojojo here about some stupidity that a (white) author spouted when speaking about books. Quite honestly, I'm appalled at how conveniently the guy just wiped away African-American writers. Sure, I understand what he's trying to say about scifi in general, and I get that he's trying to say that African-Americans are still Americans. But I find it very discomforting to see a person just write off the experiences of a minority in a "First World" or "Civilized World" context as if everyone experiences that lifestyle the same. To me, there are a lot of elements in so-called non-developing countries that are very reminiscent of developing countries, for one. If we're going to stop ignoring the viewpoint of a "native" of a developing world, then why not stop ignoring the disadvantaged of our own "first" world? And another thing that makes me squeamish is how none of what he's mentioned is addressing the fact that these primarily white writers are writing about an "Other". It's really convenient for Anglophones to write about some other country as a setting for scifi and for some reason that really bothers me because, I think that we should question what type of misconceptions we have concerning that country, rather than patting ourselves on the back on how well we think we depicted that country without asking who actually lives there. Seriously, how can you say something like this with a straight face?

"I happen to know that there are in fact Brazilian science fiction writers, but I wonder if any of them have created extrapolated future Brazilian cultures as deeply rooted in their own culture as has McDonald, an outsider from Ulster."

How do you know?? Is it because you find it foreign? It's arrogant and I am bothered by that attitude to say the least. I must say I agree with this response regarding it.

Some other people's responses (I haven't yet read all of them as of this writing):

Nick Mamatas: http://www.haikasoru.com/science-fiction/world-sf-worth-reading-before-developing-an-opinion/
Jason Sanford: http://www.jasonsanford.com/jason/2010/03/i-promised-myself-i-wouldnt-rant-but-then.html
Charles Tan: http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/editorial-the-dilemma-of-the-term-world-sf-redux/
Polenth Blake: http://polenth.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-african-science-fiction.html

The other subject I wanted to talk about was translation, specifically light novels and why they’re not so readily taken up by enough Americans to make such a venture viable for market. What prompted this was when [personal profile] charmian (I hope you don’t mind me putting up your responses) made an observation on how her translation of the most recent novel of Saiunkoku Monogatari didn’t receive much response, only one person seriously delved into discussing the events in the book.

My comment on the subject: "I suppose part of the reason why this translation isn't being discussed is because the main interest for a lot of people in the series is the Ryuuki/Shuurei relationship? I mean this novel was one big rain on the parade of love between these characters. Or it may be because translations are so far an between that people aren't really completely knowledgeable about the plot despite there being summaries of them all. A sort of lack of confidence in discussing the novels well I suppose? I know this latter hampers me from discussing it because I'd rather wait until I finally get the chance to read it all before writing about it.... But the lack of reception for even a translated novel doesn't bode well for any release of an official translation. Just look what happened with the Moribito series, and Uehashi is a much better writer. D="

[personal profile] charmian's response to me: "I don't know, but I mean, please, at least the author did develop the relationship in this book, so they can't complain it was ignored. :P It possibly could be the 'far and few in between' thing (although I think I did translate quite a bit from the last book)

Indeed. I keep on telling people that light novels, at this point, simply do not do well in America."

I wonder what is it that keeps the American audience from snapping up light novels as easily as say, manga? Is it that the pictures accompanying the words help bridge cultural gaps (are there obvious cultural gaps)? Is manga much easier to digest or does it by default simply have a broader appeal? Or is this a sign of the times where reading novels is going to die out? This is me being curious.


Also, random Kubo tweet from about 4 hours ago: そういえば晩メシのあと実家に電話したら、親に「時々ツイッター見てるよ」って言われた。ひいっ…!
(Speaking of which, when I called home after dinner, I was told by my parents "Sometimes we look at your twitter". Yikes!)

The terror of artists everywhere, the 'rents reading their blogs/twitter, etc and knowing what kind of things their kids have been up to. XD

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-11 10:38 pm (UTC)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
From: [personal profile] charmian
I'm not sure either. However, there may also be economic considerations to take into account: we don't know how much it costs to acquire a light novel vs. a manga, but when you think about it, it must cost a lot more to translate and edit. (though maybe less to print? no idea) These factors may affect the profitability of light novels as well.

I don't think it's a cultural gap thing, necessarily. Part of it may be that the translations weren't engaging (I've heard people complain about translation quality of manga as well, but since manga is visual also, that might make up for whatever deficiencies there are in the translation), or maybe it's that reading is 'harder' than looking at pictures. I think it's simply a visuals v. pics thing, or perhaps a marketing issue. (I think a light novel sans a really blockbuster anime is kind of a tough sell)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-13 10:41 pm (UTC)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
From: [personal profile] charmian
I'm not sure whether they are, though.

However, I DEFINITELY think that that the novel coming after a popular anime makes a difference in publicity and sales.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-12 05:07 am (UTC)
nijibug: Chihaya & Saya (magatama gold)
From: [personal profile] nijibug
I totally know that feeling about posting art. :<
I feel so ashamed/guilty for being that way, and yet at the same time I've always wondered if it bothered other people. Thanks for sharing. (I haven't been on dA much lately. I've promised myself that I'll "return" once I've finished a picture. I haven't been able to draw for a long time.)

And... hmmm. Sometimes it just feels to me as though people don't read much of anything anymore. (I still have Saiunkoku on my to-read list)

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