Saturday, March 9, 2013

My First Hate Mail!

I got my first ever hate mail- It's over my article that ran the other day on 5 Literary Classics That Put X-Rated Movies to Shame.

MrZ here would have some valid points. Would have. But he's wrong, so he doesn't. Let's go over his qualms.

1) I don't say the words "Middle East" anywhere in the entry. That would be fair if I mentioned the country of origin in each of the other entries, but I don't. In fact, the only entry where it says where the book was written was #2 for The Diary of a Young Girl, when I said it was about Anne Frank hiding from the Nazi occupation in an office building in the Netherlands. Seriously, the countries the books were written in aren't what make them classics, it's the works themselves.

2) I called the book One Thousand and One Nights instead of Arabian Nights. Here's a quote from Wikipedia:  

One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: كتاب ألف ليلة وليلةKitāb alf laylah wa-laylah) is a collection of West and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English language edition (1706), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.

So me calling it One Thousand and One Nights is actually being more faithful to the original title rather than the redubbed title given to the American version.

3) Writers don't choose the final pictures that go into the article. But there are 3 pictures in that entry: one of the actor Sinbad (who gets made fun of), one that's photoshopped and one taken right from the Nights' Wikipedia page. This one, actually:

He even wrote in a comment that we had pictures of white, blonde people. The hell?

So I messaged him back and was actually pretty polite about the whole thing.

I continued on for a while, being polite and explaining away his concerns. This is what I got in return:

Wait, so me using the book's correct title rather than the Western one was a subtle attempt to hide the book's origin. I see.

Actually, I don't. I'm all for wanting to see your demographic represented correctly, but it wasn't the demographic that was being discussed, it was a book. I don't know if MrZ is from the Middle East or if he's feeling self-righteous on the behalf of someone who is. If the former then he should research the topics he's getting upset about. I can honestly say I didn't use the book's correct title because I wanted to hide that it was from the Middle East. I did it because I love literature and I wanted to stay faithful to the original versions. Even Where's Waldo? got mentioned as being called Where's Wally?.

But my favorite has to be the "No one calls Gulliver's Travels Gulliver's English travels."

You're right, MrZ, no one calls it that because that isn't the book's real title. Just like I won't call Nights by the Western title, Arabian Nights, because that wasn't the book's first title.

I always hoped my first message over an article would be from a supermodel. She'd say, "I've been waiting my entire life for a man who's read those exact 5 books and now I've found you. Unfortunately because my job pays so well I only need to work one day a week, so I spend most days at not working. Would you be okay with spending every day with me while I support us financially? You could have an office where you write dick jokes whenever we aren't sleeping together."

So close to that happening. Instead I got MrZ. Life isn't fair.

On that note, have a good weekend everyone!

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