Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916)
"Hammershoi’s work has been described as ‘Monet meets the Camden School’. His wife figures in many of his interiors, often depicted from behind. His paintings are muted in tone, he refrained from employing bright colors, opting always for a limited palette consisting of grays, desaturated yellows, greens, and other dark hues. His tableaux of figures turned away from the viewer project an air of slight tension and mystery."
Tove Jansson’s illustrations for Alice in Wonderland
(Spider-Man, Ryōichi Ikegami, written with Kazumasa Hirai, c.1971)
Okay, some people have commented on this and I wanted to give my point of view.
I’m against writing accents for several reasons:
- They only make sense to the people living in the same region as you. Since I was little I’ve always thought that I didn’t have an accent and…
I’ve never been too comfortable with reading phoneticised accents. It can get really distracting. Dickens, I’m looking at you.
Personally, I like the thought that you could instead use different word choices or sentence structures to differentiate between different accents or dialects (as long as you take care not to descend into caricature, of course). For example, people from two different classes are unlikely to use the same words for everything. (I’m hoping to try this soon in an upcoming story that focusses on class boundaries, so it’s been playing on my mind. How successful I’ll be remains to be seen though.)
I feel like accents can be really crucial to some stories — would Huckleberry Finn be the same in plain English? Would Uriah Heep be quite so creepy without his dropped haitches? Would My Fair Lady even exist? I think that many of these concerns are valid criticism, honestly, but “it doesn’t translate” is really not a thing. I really do not care if it translates. Global marketing should not come into the picture at all when you’re conceiving a story. Twain wasn’t writing for Spain; he was writing for racist Americans who were shocked by the frankness of his depictions of blackness, and poverty, and ignorance. His dialects were the medium through which that honesty was delivered. That’s a lot more important, to me, than universality. I’m sure there are Spanish novels that speak to Spanish audiences in the same literal way, and it makes absolutely no fucking difference whether or not white folks in the US can read them in English. Also, I think those closed contexts make for more engaged readers; who among us has not Googled the shit out of something because we found it unfootnoted in a translated or otherwise imported text? Usability standards are great for entry doors and bathrooms, but less excellent for fiction.
On the other hand, accents can get kind of blackface-y in the wrong writer’s hands. I think it’s a case-by-case type of thing, for me.
Something to keep in mind too is that dialects tend not to age very well. Language and slang especially change over time. Like in Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth it took me almost as long to figure out what Zadok was saying as it did to read the story in full.
I think the key is not to overdo it roight guv oi
Reblogging to add a relevant paragraph or two from Zora Neale Hurston’s wikipedia page:
"Many readers objected to the representation of African-American dialect in Hurston’s novels, given the racially charged history of dialect fiction in American literature. Her stylistic choices in terms of dialogue were influenced by her academic experiences. Thinking like a folklorist, Hurston strove to represent speech patterns of the period which she documented through ethnographic research…
One particular criticism came from Richard Wright in his review of Their Eyes Were Watching God:
… The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought. In the main, her novel is not addressed to the Negro, but to a white audience whose chauvinistic tastes she knows how to satisfy. She exploits that phase of Negro life which is “quaint,” the phase which evokes a piteous smile on the lips of the “superior” race.…
More recently, many critics have praised Hurston’s skillful use of idiomatic speech.”
Best pocket watch ever by René Lalique.
Savoyard Helmet (The Original Totenkopf Helmet–1600)
Peach Tree Carnival, Georgia
(Source: truthofmasks, via nocnitsa)