Say It With Us Now

Kim in Malibu reports:

I was very excited about The San Francisco Panorama when it was published, being both a fan of McSweeney’s and the Sunday newspaper, and am happy to report it exceeded my expectations on almost every level–as a source of information, fine writing, and great graphic design. Plus, tucked into the Book Review section was a handy author pronunciation list by Julia Kinsman (click to enlarge), which you may scoff at at first (Jonathan LEETH-um, duh!), but which turned out to be kind of humbling for me as a bookseller. Sahl-MAHN Rushdie and Milan KOON-de-ra? Who knew?

At any rate, I’m all for something that makes me look smart.

And speaking of smart, here’s Brentwood’s Thomas reading Arthur Rimbaud’s “Morning of Drunkenness”:

Check out our full archive of poetry videos here!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Say It With Us Now

  1. Pingback: How To Pronounce Your Favorite Author’s Name « The Short List

  2. tufac

    Living in France, I can’t read The SF Panorama. So, I’d like to know how J. Kinsman got the informations about the right way to pronounce foreign names and what the “origin” column refers to (name or writer) ? I’m asking because there are some errors. Saying that, I don’t really see the point of pronouncing a word or a name in the original language since for most of us it will be impossible to ever perfectly pronounce a foreign language if it’s not our mother tongue (i.g. arabic) cause our speech organs are not used to it. To sum it up, I think it’s rather a pompous thing !
    A french reader (so sorry for the possible mistakes).

  3. When Pynchon did his own voice on the Simpsons (that really happened) he pronounced it pin-SHAWN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR0588DtHJA

  4. Kim

    Tufac, I see your point, and it’s true – with some foreign languages, there is no way your average nonlinguist is going to pronounce everything correctly. But I also know that I like the idea of at least TRYING. Case in point: Americans and the French name “Notre Dame,” which I hear all the time. It’s not NO-ter DAYM, people! NO-tra Dahm does just fine without the subtle back-of-the-throat roll and has all the right intentions. I see it as a sign of respect, even if it doesn’t sound exactly right.

    As for Ms. Kinsman’s interpretations, I have no other information. She did her best, I suppose.

  5. tufac

    Kim, you’re right about the respect and I think trying is already a good thing. But drawing such normative frames could lead to a paralysis… I know so many people who are so afraid to mispell or mispronouce words that they don’t even try to speak English so as a result, they don’t even do the effort of including a “non French” in a chat (but maybe it’s a typical french failing).

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