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Thread: Which one?!

  1. #16
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    "I would put Koestler under the language the books were originally written in. "

    "And that would be German! "

    Not really, unless you can have your authors in multiple places. Koestler's later books were written in English, and I think he wrote in French for a time.

    No doubt there are those who would claim him as a Jewish writer too.

    I think the fairest thing is to give a writer the nationality he chooses, presumably that is want he wants to be. So Koestler (and Conrad) would count as English.

    Personally, in my occasional bouts of organising, I order fiction writers alphabetically (and then chronologically by date of writing except for writers of historical fiction whose books get ordered chronologically by date of action.) Non-fiction gets grouped by subject. Koestler screws this up as well, because he wrote fiction and non-fiction, so he just gets lumped on his own.

    Oh - and size also messes things up. Some authors get split up because not all their books fit on the same shelf.
    Last edited by Whifflingpin; 01-16-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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  2. #17
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    I would go with language in any case.

    OR. Language if the author moved to a country early enough for it to influence it, like Conrad; country of birth if not.

    Damn it, if I write a novel in English now, would it be English or Italian literature...? Maybe it would be English... I think language is the most important factor in any case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idril View Post
    It really doesn't seem like a British novel at. all! I'm not sure it seems really German either...it seems very Russian but I can't put it there!.
    I don't think this is a good argument. If you want to organise your library so precisely and scientifically, you can't get doubts because of how a novel "seems" or feels. And the way it seems Russian to you depends on how many Russian novels you've read, but it's not a scientific criterion like language or birhtplace.

    Languages wins in my opinion.

    P.S. and techinically, Finland is NOT part of Scandinavia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavia
    Oh, and Iceland neither. And double oh, it says Finland is included in common English usage. That saddens me. It's like allowing people to refer to the whole of the UK as "England", as it commonly happens... but ask a Scot about it...
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  3. #18
    Two Gun Kid Idril's Avatar
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    Yeah, I see what you're saying, I do, but the great thing about a personal library is that you can bend the rules to suit you! Scandinavia will always include Finland and Iceland for me whether or not they are technically considered so. Especially Iceland since so many of my Icelandic books are Viking Sagas. I do certainly understand that Finland is more separate, completely different language base, different mythology but for my own purposes, I will keep it where it is. I don't know that I would say my library is organized scientifically, it's organized within an inch of it's life, but not scientifically, there is a lot of room for what a book 'feels' like if the country of an author is vague. If I were organizing a library for someone else, I would be more bound to rules but because it's my own, I have more wiggle room. And I want to be clear that I'm not actually considering putting Koestler with the Russians because it seems Russian, I realize that would be ridiculous. I guess what I was trying to express with that comment is that the book itself doesn't help me lean one way or another, either towards the Austrian or English...or the Hungarian for that matter.
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  4. #19
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idril View Post
    And I want to be clear that I'm not actually considering putting Koestler with the Russians because it seems Russian, I realize that would be ridiculous. I guess what I was trying to express with that comment is that the book itself doesn't help me lean one way or another, either towards the Austrian or English...or the Hungarian for that matter.
    Sure, that was clear, but
    1) I don't really know who Koestler is beyond what you mentioned about him, so he might as well be Russian or Australian
    2) I still don't think the "feel" is a valid argument, then of course as you say, you have your own rules


    Hmm have a shelf just for him, or put it next to your fishbowl...(buy one if you don't have one), or on the floor to hold a door open...

    Or make a shelf of hybrid ones you're undecided on
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  5. #20
    Super papayahed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koa View Post
    Or make a shelf of hybrid ones you're undecided on
    Koa has a good idea, maybe you could have a "what the hell do I do with this?" section.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


  6. #21
    Two Gun Kid Idril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papayahed View Post
    Koa has a good idea, maybe you could have a "what the hell do I do with this?" section.
    That's not a bad idea! I could put it under 'U' for uncertain so I can still be organized in my confusion.
    the luminous grass of the prairie hides
    feet lovely and still as sleeping doves,
    porcelain bones strong enough to carry a life,
    but weighty and unmovable
    As black Dakota hills.
    ~ Riesa

  7. #22
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    LOL
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