Film Socialisme.

Noetica, that eloquent and erudite Hatter, was kind enough to endow me with a DVD of one of the few Godard movies I was lacking, Film Socialisme, and of course I gobbled it up. I’m here to report that any Godard fan should see it, but it’s probably caviar to the general — unless you’re pretty familiar with his habits and tropes, it will seem scattered and largely incomprehensible. However, it has (unsurprisingly) various elements of Hattic interest worth posting about, a task made immeasurably easier by the existence online of a complete screenplay with English translation (that used in the subtitles), which was a joy to discover, let me tell you.

Where to start? Well, there are lots of languages spoken by characters: French, German, English, Italian, Russian (and there’s a whole chunk of Chekhov’s Three Sisters onscreen at one point), Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, and some West African language or other (see below). Of course I perked up when I saw an intertitle ABII NE VIDEREM (Latin for ‘I went away so as not to see’); I assumed it was a quote from some classic text, but it turns out to be the title of a piece for viola, piano and string orchestra by the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli (which Godard has used in more than one movie) — other than that, I have found it only as an example sentence in Benjamin Hall Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer (1919), p. 182. At one point one of the characters, Flo, issues a mandate not to use the verb ‘to be’ (“N’employez pas le verbe être, s’il vous plait”). There are charming callbacks to earlier Godard movies, like the exchange “Et alors?” “Mystère” (the word mystère shows up in a remarkable number of his films), the foregrounding of gender in the mother’s “Et alors, dans LA présidence, il n’y a pas LE,” and the assonanceJe veux, mon neveu” ‘(informal) absolutely! totally!’ There is the inevitable farrago of quotations; two that I happened to look up are the end of Jean Tardieu’s poem «Monsieur interroge Monsieur» (from “Monsieur à travers tout” to “et l’espace se meurt”) and Husserl’s “In allen neuen Gestalten, „die“ Geometrie” (which can be seen in its original context here, on p. 390 under “Beilage III, zu § 9 a¹).” The subtitle renders Frieda’s “Husserl souligne le LA : LA géométrie” as “Husserl capitalizes Geometry,” which of course makes no sense, especially since all nouns are capitalized in German, but I really don’t know how it might better have been done.

Speaking of questionable subtitles, I think “Hellas” is wrong at the point where we see the intertitle ΕΛΛΑΣ and a woman’s voice is heard saying /elas/; surely Hellas is pronounced /ɛlas/ in French, and /elas/ can only be hélas (a typical Godardian pun), so the subtitle should read “Alas.” And I’m confused about Flo’s line:

Je raconte, 1789, nuit du 4 août…
Avec les corps sont abolis tous les droits particuliers, il
n’y aura plus qu’un droit commun…

The subtitle reads:

I’ll tell… 1789, the night of Aug. 4…
With the corps all privileges were abolished, only
common law would remain.

But what is this “corps” that was abolished? The French word has a wide variety of meanings, and I’m not familiar enough with l’histoire de la Révolution to know what’s going on.

Finally, a couple of African-language queries. There’s a photojournalist who is apparently from West Africa, and at one point she says something the screenplay renders “Programme bimbolo ?” The translation below it is “******* ???,” so I presume nobody could figure it out, and I myself can’t even hear it clearly enough to know if “bimbolo” is a correct rendering. And at another point she says a line rendered as “Emili koseve mu nayibe ke liké kasoro ibasso,” with no translation at all; I found a forum discussion about it, in which “Lapirogue” replies:

bonjour j’ai essayer pour avancer le chilibliqk mais bien entendu il te faudra attendre l’interpretation DU specialiste. cette deuxième phrase est en effet plus bambana.

I miri kocébé mouna i be kélé ké ka sorô i ba soró

pourquoi tu réfléchi beaucoup, je suis pareil (peut etre) né ka soro I ba soro mais je ne sait pas le sens.

Any thoughts are (ça va sans dire) welcome.


  1. Kári Tulinius says

    If I remember correctly, the privileges of corporations, along with a bunch of other privileges, were abolished on August the fourth 1789. This was the corporation by royal charter type, not the modern kind.

  2. Ah, thank you! I guess that would come under Wiktionary’s 18 “(Sens figuré) Société, union de plusieurs personnes qui vivent sous les mêmes lois, les mêmes coutumes, les mêmes règles.”

  3. David Marjanović says

    n’y aura plus qu’un droit commun…

    “Common law” of course means something else in English. Why not “there will only be one law, common to all”, for example?

  4. Good point.

    The quote about 1789 appears to come from the Dictionnaire critique de la Révolution française by François Furet and ‎Mona Ozouf, but Google Books says “No preview.” Bah.

  5. PlasticPaddy says

    Assuming bimbolo and bambana should be bambara, how about following:
    Emili koseve mu nayibe keli ké kasoro ibasso [last 3 “words” possibly ne ka so iba so]

    miirili   n. pensée; thoughts, thinking
    kosɛbɛ-kosɛbɛ   adv. très bien; very well.
    munna   adv. pourquoi; why.
    i ba = you (emphatic) or your (emphatic)
    kele   adj. jaloux; jealous, envious.
    ne ka = my (emphatic)
    so = house

    ” thinking very well why you jealous- my house (is) your house”
    This “interpretation” was a lot of fun but is probably pointless…

  6. Fun is never pointless!

  7. We should have fun no matter the circumstances.

  8. Exactly!

  9. I’m pleased that the video pleases you, Hat. From excerpts I have seen on YouBeaut* it appears to divide opinions in suitably anarchistic fashion.

    ABII NE VIDEREM (Latin for ‘I went away so as not to see’)

    An odd choice of title. Like you I would have suspected an ancient source. We do find “ne viderem”, in this for example:

    Cur enim non fuit uterus matris meæ sepulcrum, ne viderem afflictionem Jacob et laborem generis Israel?
    (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, citing 2 Esdras 5:35)

    That’s “… Why didn’t I die before I was born? Then I wouldn’t have seen the sufferings and troubles of the people of Israel.”
    Among equivalent constructions are “ut non viderem”, “pro ne viderem”, and “ut ne viderem”, it seems. Kancheli chose the bare “ne” form, though no metrical or general song-setting reasons constrain the choice in his purely instrumental piece. A snappier title.

    * YouTube, but Austrocised.

  10. Bare ne is the standard construction in Classical Latin, it’s what you learn at school, you need no special metrical or musical constraint:

    In Finalsätzen kann statt ne verstärkt ut ne “damit (daß) ja nicht” stehen. […] Nie findet sich ut ne nach den Verben des Hinderns, Verweigerns und Fürchtens.
    (Menge, Repetitorium der lateinischen Syntax und Stilistik, §343)

    pro ne seems odd; pro is a preposition, not a conjunction.

  11. Yes, ulr: I was mistaken about “pro ne” through incautious perusal of Christian Latin sources. Still, “ut non” and “ut ne” are seen – associated with somewhat different contexts and meanings than plain “ne”.

  12. Utne is apparently unrelated:

    The publication takes its name from founder Eric Utne. “Utne” rhymes with the English word “chutney”. Eric Utne’s surname is ultimately derived from the Norwegian village of Utne, which loosely translates as “far out”.

    Far out!

  13. Adrian Bailey says

    I just remember that Mark Kermode hated it

  14. Lots of people hated it — it was that kind of movie. But your link doesn’t seem to include it; did you mean to link to another of his videos?

  15. Trond Engen says

    Loosely indeed. The name isn’t well explained. The standard source of Norwegian rural toponyms, Oluf Rygh’s Norske gaardnavne (1897-1924) says:

    108. Utne. Udt. ú`ttne. ― a Wtne DN. I 472, 1417 Audna
    i Hardanger DN. II 553 1438? [jfr. Ulvik GN. 65]. Vdim NRJ. III
    147. Wtnne 1567. Vtne (Parten Graff) NRJ. IV 471. Wtne 1614.
    Vttne 1667. Utne 1723.

    Er efter Formen Dat. Ent., af et ellers ukjendt Ord *Utn eller *Útn
    (m. eller n.) af uvis Betydning. S. B. har gjettet paa en opr. Form *Út-tún,
    d. e. Ud-Tunet, den ude i Fjorden (i Modsætning til Kinservik eller Ullens-
    vang) liggende Gaard (tún n., Indl. S. 82). Den stærke Sammendragning har
    maaske et Sidestykke i Ønavnet Kvolmen, se Manger GN. 27. ― Hvis Formen
    fra 1438 gjælder denne Gaard, synes den ikke at kunne være rigtig.

    My translation: “Judging by the form dat. sg. of an otherwise unknown word *Utn or *Útn (m. or n.) of uncertain meaning. S. B. has guessed at an original form *Út-tún, i.e. “the farmyard out in the fjord (seen from Kinsarvik or Ullensvang”. The heavy contraction may have a parallel in the island name Kvolmen — If the form from 1438 applies to this farm, it seems improbable that it’s correct.”

    If I should venture a guess myself (and I will whether I should or not), I’d say that *Utn/*Útn is formed from út “out” with the same -n suffix as e.g. Kvikne < kvikr “alive, lively”, Sjetne < seti “seat, throne” (of a plateau?), but unfortunately that suffix takes feminine gender. However, fjords are traditionally masculine, and I think the name may first have applied to the section of the fjord that today is called Utnefjorden. Seen from the inner fjords (Sørfjorden, *Nordfjorden) this fjord breaks through the mountains and leads out. The Utne farm got its name for being the first and largest settlement on its shores. So, er, “the outwards one”.

  16. I was hoping you’d weigh in on that!

  17. David Marjanović says

    Utne, which loosely translates as “far out”.

    Would be precisely cognate with außen “on the outside”… though the original meaning is “from outside”, which fits a settlement much less well.

  18. Trond Engen says

    ON útan “from outside; outside; without, except: unless”, Nyn. utan, Bm. uten, dial uta- in compound prepositions and adverbs. That’s where I started, but I didn’t like losing the -a- in this conservative dialect, and a bare preposition or positional/directional adverb as a toponym would be extremely unusual in Old Norse (or older). Still. I like “from outside” better than “outwards” as naming element, and suggesting an irregular loss of -a- may be no worse than my gender swap.

  19. PlasticPaddy says

    Finnish utuinen = utu “fog” + -inen “adjectival suffix”. Is Utne too far South (or West) for an old Kven placename?

  20. PlasticPaddy says

    Jårvik and Bekkjarvik are also South and West, but I cannot find a source saying the “jArvik” part could be from a Finnic word meaning lake…

  21. Trond Engen says

    Much too far south for Kven, too far west for Forest Finns.

    There are many Norwegian placenames ending in -arvik. They have nothing whatsoever to do with Finnish. They are compound names with a final element vik “bay” and a first element that may be less transparent. -(a)r is often the ancient masculine singular genitive. Bekkjarvik is easy, meaning creek’s bay < bekk “creek”. Jårvik is not. Rygh lists late medieval forms with r- and explains that loss of initial r before j was common in that region. So what’s *Rjå-? Rygh assumes < *réa (j-breaking), which could be an old river name *Ré, known from elsewhere as well.

  22. David Marjanović says

    Erik Jarvik with bonus Beowulf.

  23. Trond Engen says

    Erik Jarvik does indeed look like a Norwegian with a common first name and a toponymic surname. I could give a decent etymology of his surname without blinking. But there’s no such toponym at and no such surname at I guess it could be a newish respelling of Jårvik, but traditional *Jaarvik would be expected.

  24. Wikipedia says Jarvik is a Swede from Västergötland.

  25. Trond Engen says

    Ah. Toponymic surnames like that are much rarer in Sweden.

  26. Lars Mathiesen (he/him/his) says

    “Visst har du norsk påbrå?”

  27. Caboose Books is having a sale on Godard’s Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television; any Godard fans out there should consider taking advantage of it. I got my copy today, and it’s gorgeous (and pleasingly plump).

  28. Hmm. That’s all very well Hat, but their lowest-cost shipping to Australia would apparently be US$40! At least they were quick to respond when I asked: and apologetic.

    So much for demand-side globalisation. What ever happened to cheap US postage?

  29. Ah, Canada not US. Still …

  30. Yes, the last time they had a sale the price for shipping to Massachusetts was $20, and that brought the total to a level that was too rich for my blood. But for some reason it’s now only $10, so I felt I could swing it.

  31. John Cowan says

    International parcel postage is the sum of the sending country’s domestic postage and however much the receiving country sees fit to gouge the sending country (the same is true of international telephone calls). And Canada Post is way more expensive than the U.S. Snail.

  32. For the benefit of your readers, who seem to want to blame me for the current cost of postage in the world, USPS to Australia is just as much as Canada Post.

    For Canada to the U.S., I used to use Canada Post, which hooked up with USPS Priority (now $12 within the USA I believe); the cost was a little over $20 US and I charged $20 US. I now laboriously drop packages off at a local courier who takes them to a USPS station just across the border and ships them Media Mail. Together, I can do this for $10 US. This is cheaper than what Canadian customers pay for me to ship a book within Canada, as Canada Post eliminated its “book rate” 40 years ago.

    I generally “eat” all packaging costs.

    As I mentioned to one potential customer, my own lifelong habit of buying second-hand books in the USA has practically ground to a halt because of postage costs, just to bring a book over the border from the USA to Canada.

    By the way, when one compares the Godard book to a typical current offering by a university press, one finds that it is twice the length, much better produced (sewn binding, offset printing, good quality paper, attractive design, great editorial care, stiff card cover), much more interesting, a much more valuable contribution to the field than 99.9% of film books and . . . CHEAPER.

    The only thing I can’t do is offer free shipping on top of all that. Free shipping is an Amazon scam, funded out of publishers’ pockets (and the pockets of the suppliers of other products to Amazon), because Amazon takes 55% of the selling price of the book to cover its web site and the space the book occupies on a warehouse shelf, and the publisher gets 45% for the editorial and design work that goes into a book, printing it and shipping it to Amazon.

    Oh, and they exploit their workers and don’t pay taxes. How do you think Bezos got tens of billions of dollars?

    Amazon is a drug everyone is addicted to, but the addiction is not killing the addict, it’s killing the people who supply the goods. Stop shopping on Amazon.

    If you don’t have a local bookstore for ordering books that can be found on Amazon – the Godard cannot, for the above reasons – use Barnes and Noble. They are dedicated to keeping bookstores alive. When Amazon started they said: go to a bookstore, see the book you want, and order it from us cheaper. Now that they’re eliminated most bookstores, do this: go to Amazon, find the book you want, and order it from a bookstore.

  33. You’re absolutely right, but I don’t think anyone was blaming you — everybody’s just griping about the high cost of everything these days! Your books are indeed cheaper and better-produced than most these days, and well worth the cost.

  34. David Eddyshaw says

    Too right about the low quality of book production from university presses nowadays, including our own dear OUP and CUP.

    Mouton Grammar library, too, despite the books all setting you back well over £100 apiece. Crap “perfect” bindings, shoddy covers …

    (“Perfect” binding is as shamelessly deliberately misleading as a term as “artificial intelligence.”)

    It doesn’t have to be that way. Language Science Press are shining exceptions to the trend, for example.

  35. Caboose, we need you! I’m sure just about everyone in this forum appreciates what you’re doing, and hopes you can continue and prosper in the face of difficulties. I certainly do.

    David E, yes. There is much bad to take with the abundance of good. We revel in the general availability but deplore the lowered standards. Some things still can’t be had for love or money, of course. I wanted a large book with extended discussion of etymologies. Sellers in Alicante were offering it at an acceptable price. When my location was revealed as Australia a grim message came up: “We have no way of receiving payment from your zone.” ¡¿Qué?!

  36. I once told a bookseller at a small independent bookstore, how in the early days I’d been on the fence about using Amazon for buying books rather then buying them at a store, but then saw that Amazon’s prices were 25% lower, and that convinced me not to buy from them. It was interesting to see her expression change on the way to the unexpected punchline.

  37. John Cowan says

    “Perfect” binding is as shamelessly deliberately misleading as a term as “artificial intelligence.”

    From what I understand, perfect refers to the appearance of the edges.

  38. “It was interesting to see her expression change on the way to the unexpected punchline.”.

    Good one. It reminds me of the time I was chatting at the cash with the owner of a small used bookstore, and he told me a joke about someone who won a million dollars in the lottery – I guess I should update this to 5 million today. All the newspapers wanted to know what he was going to do with the money, and he said “I’m going to fulfil a life’s dream. I’m going to open a bookstore and keep it going until the money runs out”.

    At that point I said quietly “yeah. I’m a small publisher”. The bookstore owner put his hands in the air in surrender and said “oh, well . . .”.

  39. “From what I understand, perfect refers to the appearance of the edges”.

    Well, originally, when hardcovers often had ragged edges. But for decades now when you tell a printer you want perfect binding, you are saying you want a glued and not sewn paperback. It is possible – and I just did it, for “Montage, Découpage, Mise en scène”, although practically no one else does anymore – to make a sewn and not glued paperback, and there too the edges are all “perfect”. But I did not ask the printer for perfect binding. No one today in the book trade, publisher, printer, seller, would think you were describing the clean-cut cosmetic appearance of a book if you called it “perfect bound”.

    And I think the commenter above was making a joke, with the reference to George Carlin.

  40. John Cowan says

    I’ve got a lot of Dover Books editions that are sewn, but none of them are recent.

  41. Book edges are guillotined flush, even with sewn bindings, and have been for a long time. They don’t stay that way if the spine loosens, but that’s the way of the world. When a perfect binding loosens, sheets fall out.

  42. I was going to mention Dover. Good paper, sewn binding, stiff cover. They stopped doing that a very long time ago.

  43. I was going to mention Dover. Good paper, sewn binding, stiff cover.
    All that—and amazingly cheap.

    They stopped doing that a very long time ago.
    …and that’s what happens.

  44. That was when there were far fewer titles on the market. In film studies, in 1970, Dover could print probably 20,000 copies (I’m guessing, but it’s an educated guess), maybe more, of Béla Balázs’ Theory of the Film and sell it for $10.95 in a beautiful trade edition. Jump ahead to a few years ago when an edition of collected writings by Balázs was published. It was, quite literally, laid out in Word. The “typesetter” solved the problem of awkward “line breaks” by setting Word to “no hyphenation”. It was printed digitally on poor quality white photocopy paper. It was, of course, perfect bound. The publisher (unlike caboose) received public funds for the translation and the publication. The book is a little over 300 pages, a little more than half caboose’s Godard. Released a few years before the Godard, it sold for $40 USD. I would be very surprised if they sold more than 500 or 600 copies. No more than 1,000 surely. Today that number would be half that.

    And facing these same sales challenges as the new Balázs, or worse as a smaller publisher a decade later as the scholarly book market tanks, caboose just published a sewn paperback, Montage Découpage, Mise en scène, on premium paper wth a stiff cover, 280 pp., $45, 12 years after the new Balázs for $40.

  45. ktschwarz says

    The exact origin of “perfect binding” does not seem to be nailed down, even among professional printers (“Mr Perfect”? Gullible much?). The OED’s entry under perfect has the following two early citations where “perfect binding” is nothing more than a brand name:

    1890 Library Jrnl. May 149/1 What is needed is a binding that will stand the rough treatment that such books [sc. library and Sunday School books] usually receive… Crawford’s ‘Perfect’ Library Binding (patent applied for) entirely meets this need, and any book..can be bound with the ‘Perfect’ Binding.
    1893 Amer. Bookbinder July 86 Mr. Crawford is the inventor of what is known as the ‘perfect library binding’.

    (More context from the Library Journal: the New York Library Club received this advertisement from Wm. R. Crawford, Bookbinder, of Newark, NJ.)

    However, that may not be the real answer: the OED did not investigate whether Crawford’s “perfect binding” was the same thing that it means today, a binding using adhesives and not sewing. And according to this 1962 report on Adhesive Bookbinding: A Practice Reviewed, it wasn’t! This report found US patents from the 19th century for adhesive bookbinding processes, but they did not use the name “perfect binding”. It then gives a long quotation from the source of the OED’s 1893 quote, which makes it clear that Crawford *did* shave off the backs of books so that all leaves were separated before binding, but *did not* use glue, he used sewing. So apparently it was only coincidentally the same name. In the early 1900s, a “PERFECT BINDER” is advertised that “will bind and put covers on Pamphlets without thread or wire”, and then more patents are issued for adhesive binding, but it’s still not exactly clear how the name was attached to the process.

    Regrettably, the OED3 revision dropped all of these quotes that the OED2 had collected:

    1960 Times Lit. Suppl. 3 June 360/3 The so-called ‘perfect’ binding, in which, the backs of the quires having been guillotined away, the resultant single leaves are held hopefully together by adhesive.
    1977 Ibid. 28 Jan. 104/2 The pages are now smaller, the paper thinner,‥and the binding is perfect (ie, imperfect).
    1977 Special Libraries Feb. 6A/2 Perfect bound (‘newspeak’ for ‘unsewn’) bindings on books have caused librarians grief and libraries money (for rebinding) since they fall apart so readily.‥ I urge publishers not to utilize this type of binding until they have really perfected the process.

    What, were they afraid of offending somebody with sarcastic quotes? I’d think those quotes provide just the sort of context that the OED should.

  46. @Noetica. First the good news:

    Spain is one of the relatively few countries in the world that require their booksellers to charge retail prices set by publishers for books published locally and still in print.

    Which is to say, no mark-up is allowed on the retail price. Spanish postage rates being the same for all senders, that variable too is fixed.

    The sellers’ profit consists of just (1) the difference between the wholesale and the retail prices and (2) their charge for handling.

    You may have better luck if you can send an Australian bank check in euros drawn on a Spanish bank. Banco Santander, which has a branch in Sydney, may be able to help you in that regard.

    You may want to try these two sellers:

    CELESA (Centro de exportación de libros españoles)
    fax: +34915173481

    Pórtico Librerías

  47. Well, originally, when hardcovers often had ragged edges.

    Lord Byron’s Novel by John Crowley, which I just read, has a ragged fore-edge. Morrow, 2005.

  48. My copy of Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House (HarperCollins, 2019) has a ragged fore-edge. It’s still a thing, if you want a book to be perceived as prestigious.

  49. “Well, originally, when hardcovers often had ragged edges.

    Lord Byron’s Novel by John Crowley, which I just read, has a ragged fore-edge. Morrow, 2005.”

    Nit picking seems to be a thing on this blog. Did you notice I mentioned the word “often”? I know that some books still have this. It is exceedingly rare.

  50. Nobody’s arguing with you; we just enjoy going into recondite details around here.

  51. In this person’s place, I would say to a stranger, to be polite:

    On the topic of ragged edges, as caboose of course surely knows, some books still have this, such as the book I just read, blah blah.

    Rather than quoting me verbatim and then contradicting me as if that got the person two points.

  52. Stu Clayton says

    Rather than quoting me verbatim and then contradicting me as if that got the person two points.

    caboose, I understood your words to mean exactly what they mean. I am satisfied with one point.

    Unfortunately, carefully weighing one’s words doesn’t ensure that hearers have their scales calibrated in the same way. Or that they will weigh with equal care.

    This comment is worth one point at most.

  53. David Marjanović says

    Rather than quoting me verbatim and then contradicting me as if that got the person two points.

    Not every response is intended as a contradiction. Not everybody thinks about points.

  54. Stu Clayton says

    Not everybody thinks about points.

    Good point.

  55. David Eddyshaw says

    I automatically get an extra point for being Welsh. (The uncharitable have suggested that this is out of pity, or perhaps out of recognition that I have overcome my origins even to the point of becoming literate.)

  56. Stu Clayton says

    I suspect that I get a negative point for each flippant OT comment I make here. But I thrive on negentropy.

  57. M:

    Thanks for your attempt to help. Unfortunately the two Spanish sources you suggest cannot assist with the book I’m after, which is something that has been mentioned at the Hattery: DL Gold’s Studies in Etymology and Etiology (With Emphasis on Germanic, Jewish, Romance, and Slavic Languages).

    This is supposedly available from the publisher, Publicaciones Universidad de Alicante. Commenting earlier, I recalled inaccurately what their message was (and could not check, at the time). I now see that: 1) payment is only by Redsys, which appears completely inaccessible to me; 2) “No hay métodos de envío disponibles para su zona.”

    That loosely translates as “Fuck off, foreigner.” Of course they would have means of sending to my “zone”, if they had any interest in doing so.

    We need humane dealers like Caboose, who communicate by email personally and helpfully. In the present case, instead of paying €35 (~A$56) + shipping from Spain, I would have to pay A$171 net through Amazon Australia. No thanks.

    (Worldcat to the rescue: it’s available in 63 libraries “near Melbourne”, the closest being a mere 11,277 km from were I sit!)

    Anyway, since we’re on a filmic topic: Has anyone here heard of Božidar Kalezić (before this present mention)? Any opinion to offer?

  58. PlasticPaddy says

    One could imagine someone very unlike ourselves, but having a reader’s ticket at a university library, obtaining the book via inter-library loan, and then suffering the loss of the book and one’s native bearer to a crocodile whilst on a visit to a neighbouring island…
    EDIT: perhaps more seriously, Hat might like to enquire if Dr. Gold knew of any other way of getting the book…

  59. Lars Mathiesen (he/him/his) says

    Not like US universities are better. There was one pamphlet mentioned here last year that was only obtainable by sending a check for some dollar amount and a self-addressed, self-stamped envelope to the department. Checks haven’t existed for about five years in this country, much less dollar-denominated ones, and the US stamps you can just forget about. (Never mind that the size and weight weren’t given, so calculating overseas postal rates was another challenge).

  60. John Cowan says

    loss of the book and one’s native bearer to a crocodile

    He Who Ticks, presumably.

  61. David Eddyshaw: As an Appalachian I also get points for reading books, especially those with raggity edges.

  62. And I acknowledge that teaching college for 37 years gave me some bad habits.

  63. Stu Clayton says

    As an Appalachian I also get points for reading books, especially those with raggity edges.

    “raggity” ! I haven’t heard that in decades. Having been out of the States for so long, I occasionally pine for that kind of thing. The German dubbers of English-language movies are a nefarious bunch of effete snobs.

  64. David Marjanović says

    The German dubbers of English-language movies are a nefarious bunch of effete snobs.

    I concur. They’re aware of it, so sometimes – on rare occasions – they try not to be, but then they always fail miserably.

    (ST:TOS is legendary, but there are more recent examples.)

  65. Rodger C says

    I think that if Appalachian dialogue appears in an English-language film, German dubbers should represent it with some sort of Rhenish dialect, which is a heritage language in Appalachia and is still spoken in remote pockets. (Dream on.)

  66. I don’t know whether the associations of the dialect would work – aren’t Appalachians normally stereotyped as redneck hillbillies? The German stereotype of Rhenish speakers is as jovial almost-French bon-vivants.

  67. @Hans: Indeed. If it is not transparent to non-Americans, the Appalachians are very hills referred to in the term hillbilly.

  68. John Cowan says

    In any case, our own Rodger C should be referred to with the politer term “Mountain William”.


    h/t Norman Spinrad

  69. So, Hans, what would be a better German equivalent?

  70. Is redneck (derogatory or not) properly applicable to Appalachians? In my (very unqualified) mind redneck is associated with people who live in flatter areas (the Deep South, Texas), where the sky is wide-open and where the sun is free to redden necks.

  71. Stu Clayton says

    A redneck, said an old guy from Coal River WVa here in 1995, is what we called a miner who wore a red bandana around his neck to avert friendly fire. This was during the battle of Blair Mountain, a “labor uprising” in 1921.

    The guy claims that is the origin of “redneck”. But it could just as well be the case that the term was much older, and was appropriated by the miners.

  72. And yet nobody but that old guy from Coal River uses it that way. And maybe you, I don’t know.

    Like Y, I associate “redneck” with the Deep South and Texas; rednecks are not hillbillies.

  73. Stu Clayton says

    I associate “redneck” with the Deep South and Texas; rednecks are not hillbillies.

    I do as well.

  74. ktschwarz says

    As discussed at Wordorigins and Merriam-Webster, redneck in this sense was in use by the 1880s. There’s a good chance the guy from Coal River was pulling the interviewer’s leg.

  75. Irednecks are not hillbillies
    Good to know.
    @Y: I don’t know a good equivalent. The issue is that each German region has their own hillbillies, e.g. here in the Rhineland people from the Eifel have a similar image. But that means that there is no dialect that would have these associations for all Germans.

  76. Hans: What about the north, where there are no major mountains? Are there other kinds of isolated communities? For the NW I might imagine Frisians, but stereotypically they wouldn’t be speaking any kind of German.

  77. i’ve also heard the battle of blair mountain described as the origin of “redneck”, by both labor historians and folks from appalachia.

    clearly that’s more myth than etymology, but i think it points to an important piece of the semantic history. “redneck” doesn’t simply mean “southerner” (in my experience, especially white, working-class, and appalachian, with some claimjumping by texans and folks with money*) – it specifically means unruly and unbossed.

    that meaning is there in wordorigins’ 1837 citation from connecticut, and may be implicit in the baltimore street-gang name, but i don’t see it in the later 19thC citations there. i suspect that specific meaning was reinforced quite strongly in the 1900s-20s, when red neckerchiefs were very specifically an IWW insignia (i was just reading dashiell hammett’s Red Harvest, where the continental op recognizes** a wobbly in [thinly fictionalized] butte, montana, by it), and the IWW was the most significant workers’ organization in the region (especially in the worst-paid industries).

    * i think my friends in rural tennessee and north carolina would agree with me on this rule of thumb: never believe somone who calls himself a redneck unless you can see his truck – if it’s clean, he’s not one. if you can’t, then generally it’s safe to believe it as a label from people’s neighbors, but not as self-ascription.

    ** it was also a cruising signal in many cities, which hammett probably also knew, given his familiarity with the specifically queer side of hobo cant (most famously “gunsel”***, in The Maltese Falcon). but the layering of signals for cruising and recognizing comrades is a whole other semantic field.

    *** from yiddish גאַנזל ganzl [gosling].

  78. I was going to say we’d discussed “gunsel” before, but when I did the site search and found it in 2004, it turned out it was you!

  79. What about the north, where there are no major mountains? Are there other kinds of isolated communities? For the NW I might imagine Frisians, but stereotypically they wouldn’t be speaking any kind of German
    Well, the people of East Frisia (whose dialect is Low German – in the NW Frisian only survived in the small Saterland area, the main area where Frisian is spoken is in North Frisia up in the far North near the Danish border) have a hillbilly image, but the number of people who would be able to distinguish East Frisian Platt from other varieties is small, and for most German readers the associations of Platt would be Northern German and maybe rural, but not necessarily “hillbilly”.

  80. rozele, you were here in 2004?? I thought you only joined in a few years ago!

  81. i was a lurker and verrrrry occasional chimer-in for a long time before i started properly hanging out!

    (o, and the new additions to the GHASELIG thread were tasty! glad to have been pointed back there.)

  82. David Marjanović says

    Ostfriesenwitze are a thing, but they portray the East Frisians as just generically stupid, not as anywhere near as specific as hilbillies or rednecks. They’re portable – often identical to the jokes made about the (notoriously flat) Burgenland in Vienna or the Mühlviertel (a huge lump of granite) in Linz.

  83. @Noetica. How about getting in touch with Collections Development (possibly called Acquisitions) at one of the large university libraries in Australia and asking what dealer (in Spain? in Australia? elsewhere?) it uses when it wants to acquire a book published in Spain?

  84. Wess Harris is the labor historian best known for asserting that “redneck” originated with the mine wars, and he’s been widely believed; but clearly we’ve antedated it here.

  85. David Marjanović says

    not as anywhere near as specific as hilbillies or rednecks

    …not as anything anywhere near as specific as hillbillies or rednecks… I don’t sleep well lately, the air is too dry.

  86. M:

    How about getting in touch with Collections Development …

    Thanks, but life is famously short and I don’t need that book so much as lust after it. If I did seriously need it I’d spend the necessary A$171 for a delivered copy in Australia.

    Anyway, Amazon offers it in the States for US$100 (delivered?), equivalent to ~A$141.

    It’s worth noting that the publisher in Alicante does send to the US, but not to Australia, Canada, or other non-European destinations. Probably through laziness rather than malign intent.

    Far more galling is the way mega-operations like Netflix and Amazon Prime have of giving Australian customers drastically less than they give US customers. Try to get Shakespeare plays at either of those. Prime offers King Lear (with Ian Holms, “award-winning National Theatre Production”), then snatches it away with the message “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location.” Ridiculous. It would cost them so little to treat us as something more than a nation of rednecks.

  87. “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location.”

    VPN services usually explicitly state it if their systems are clever enough to circumvent Netflix country restrictions.

    Not that I would advocate ever flouting the regulations set down by our wise and moral multinational corporate betters.

  88. Try getting your book from here:
    (35€, ships to Australia)

    or here:
    (US $70, with shipping to Australia) is your friend.

  89. Y:

    Good! I have now looked at those options, and both are viable. But in the end I decided to restrain my booklust, having learned about a few options that eluded me before, given the shipping costs involved. The cheapest was Abebooks, whom I have used before. I have also used Amazon France (various titles) and Amazon Japan (rare CDs of 18th-century chamber music, not obtainable elsewhere). I might venture like that again, but not this time. Thanks to all here!

  90. John Cowan says

    Bookfinder (which is also owned by Amazon, like ABEbooks) may be useful, as it provides comparative price+shipping for a variety of sources.

  91. Several weeks ago, I discovered that Rick Mercer’s brilliant dark comedy series Made in Canada is finally available on exactly one, Canadian-only, streaming service. I have been meaning to figure out a VPN solution that will let me subscribe and watch it.

  92. David Marjanović says

    It would cost them so little to treat us as something more than a nation of rednecks.

    Quite the opposite, I suspect. Heaps of YouTube videos are “not available” in the Land der Dichter und Denker because the copyright collection agencies here are ruthless.

  93. David M:

    Quite the opposite, I suspect.

    Suspect what you will, here in Australia we know we are deprived of much that is cheaply available elsewhere. This has been going on for decades, but the tyranny of distance no longer explains or excuses it. We used to pay waaay more for software than anyone in the US did, with negligible support while US subscribers got a phone number to call. And so on and on.

    Most of all I’m after old classics that would surely cost little to make available. Britbox is obtainable as an Amazon Prime channel at US6.99/month. It’s a little cheaper here, at A$6.99/month. But many of us would gladly pay more, if we could get such gems as the complete BBC Television Shakespeare Collection, which is included there but not here.

    Why the difference? How much revenue would anyone anywhere forgo by adding that to our antipodean choices? Are large numbers of people here likely to pay for that content from any other source, assuming they were aware that it even existed? (Well, I did pay. I ordered the complete box set of DVDs from the UK. That’s just me.)

    From Prime’s promotion of Britbox in Australia (my bold):

    A partnership between BBC Studios and ITV, BritBox offer subscribers a unique experience, with content specifically curated for Australian audiences — from classic and contemporary British series, to exclusive and premiere titles, spanning drama, crime, mystery and comedy.

    “Specially curated.” For a nation of redneck bozos who think Shakespeare is a private investigator and Beethoven a dog with floppy ears. Rampant corporate stereotyping.

  94. Like DM, my suspicion is that it’s a rights issue – the BBC likely sold the Australian broadcasting rights to one of your TV stations, maybe even back in the 70s when they were produced, and those guys could be sitting on them, doing nothing with them. I didn’t find any information about this with a quick Google search, but maybe you do know whether the production was ever broadcast in Australia and by whom? That could be your culprit.

  95. Of course it’s about rights. What else? And some rights are cheap, some dear. Australia is systematically deprived of quality offerings that could be bought at a bargain and sold to us at a good profit. We’d buy!

    We’re kept in the dark about what we’re missing out on. I can’t even see the Netflix site in the US or the UK. It’s simply not allowed. Any attempt gets diverted to the Australian site instead, so we can’t make comparisons even.

    “Curated” for us simply means cynically cut down for us. And it’s a bad and stupid strategy. No one really does better out of it in the end. Use of VPNs will increase, and other dodges will emerge and proliferate. No wonder piracy persists.

    Australia’s ABC has close ties with the BBC, for both radio and television content. If the 37 or so Shakespeare pieces were ever broadcast in Australia it would have been on our wonderful ABC: one of the world’s last great ad-free national broadcasters. I think I would have noticed, but I don’t recall those plays on TV here. The integrity of our government-funded but fiercely independent ABC is such that it’s unlikely they would acquire rights to a corpus of Shakespeare productions and then forever deny access, for the public they serve.

    So it seems to me: an avid watcher and listener over the decades.

  96. David Marjanović says

    that could be bought at a bargain

    That’s exactly what I doubt. I think the Australian rights, like the German ones for so many things, are priced beyond Netflix’s ability or at least willingness to cough up the money for.

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