Mar. 18th, 2013

cremains: (so dumb)
I like a good monk drama, which is why I picked this novel up from the library, but how did A Canticle For Liebowitz get published without more editing? I picked it up for fantastic monk stylings a la The Name of the Rose or Cadfael but sadly the author decided to include some Jewish shit in the book, of which none makes any actual sense. The presence of BS Jewish characters almost wrecked it for me on its own (it's a normal Christian imagining of what Jews are probably like, such as always pining for a Jesus-esque messiah and so forth) but wow, the Hebrew is so damn bad. Like the transliteration is totally bizarre, as in

לאעאו

is meant to represent the name "Lazar" but it actually spells "Leaeo" or something. There are also Hebrew phrases that are actual legit nonsense, and some are painful approximations of actual phrases but as reconstructed by someone looking at a Biblical Hebrew grammar for a maximum of five minutes. Why couldn't the author ask someone who actually speaks Hebrew (as in has some fluency and comfort) -- or, when he wanted to include some other detail of Judaica, why not ask like an actual Jewish person? I wouldn't think of writing a character or language without worrying about at least a very basic threshold of accuracy. It's both bizarre and insulting.

It reminds me of my Muncle (monk uncle) who once argued with me for way too long that tau the Greek character (the one shaped like T) is actually in the Hebrew alphabet (as opposed to just the name which is attached to this character: ת). This dude is considered to be religiously super educated and supposedly took courses at some point in Hebrew and yet manages to be a complete dumbass. Who knows what shit he teaches about Jews and Hebrew to his fellow church people? In this case he finally conceded after I was able to produce a Hebrew grammar written by a Christian (aka someone "unbiased"). He should be a character in A Canticle for Liebowitz.

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this hill is far enough

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