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#2206 Wilfrid

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:20 PM

The New Yorker describes a book as "long unpublished."

I can understand "long out of print," or "long unavailable," but surely it's either published or not. What has time got to do with it? For example, you might say "recently out of print" or "recently unavailable," but there's no equivalent here. "Recently unpublished"? If anything you'd say "not yet published," meaning it hasn't yet entered the (timeless) state of being published or not.

#2207 voyager

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:29 PM

Reminds me of a very desirable (lot size and general house configuration) house in our neighborhood.     Long time owners let it run down before it was put on the market where it stayed for several years.   Finally sold. put on the market at double the price with the description "extensive postponed maintenance".    


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#2208 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:30 PM

I guess you could say something is "long unpublished" if it was written in, say, 1480 and hasn't been published yet.  (I'm sure that's not what the writer meant, of course.)


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#2209 Suzanne F

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:02 AM

I guess you could say something is "long unpublished" if it was written in, say, 1480 and hasn't been published yet.  (I'm sure that's not what the writer meant, of course.)

 

Or it could be something like Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, a book written sixty years ago but only published in 2015:

 

Though “Watchman” is being published for the first time now, it was essentially an early version of “Mockingbird.” According to news accounts, “Watchman” was submitted to publishers in the summer of 1957; after her editor asked for a rewrite focusing on Scout’s girlhood two decades earlier, Ms. Lee spent some two years reworking the story, which became “Mockingbird.”

 

 

 

It was written, but it was not published until long after its writing. Therefore it was long unpublished (unpublished for a long time).


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#2210 Sneakeater

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 08:57 PM

A program bio at a performance I went to yesterday quoted a critic as calling a soprano "arresting, in all senses."

 

So I worried, is she going to incarcerate me?


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#2211 Wilfrid

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:00 AM

I think Suzanne's counter-example makes sense, and that you can say a book now published was long unpublished.

But I don't think something which was written down a long time ago and never published is an ongoing state of being "long unpublished." It was just never published. Like almost everything ever written down.

#2212 AaronS

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:57 AM

I think thats a fair description of things written by someone whose work would be expected to be published. would you object to that characterization of the lost melville novel?

#2213 Wilfrid

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 04:50 AM

I think I find it even stranger to describe a manuscript which may no longer exist as "long unpublished." If anything, even calling it just "unpublished" is strange. It's lost.

A Robert Johnson song which nobody has the music or lyrics for -- "long unrecorded"?

#2214 Wilfrid

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:14 AM

Thinking on Suzanne's suggestion, saying of something now published, recorded, shown (a movie), that it had been long unpublished (etc) seems okay.

My anxiety is about calling something unpublished "long unpublished" when it's just unpublished, period. It's as if a manuscript goes from being "immediately unpublished" through "recently unpublished," to "unpublished a while," to "long unpublished," then maybe "unpublished from time immemorial." Damn thing might just be not worth publishing (expectations notwithstanding).

#2215 small h

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 07:06 PM

So I'm complaining to my cohabitant yesterday about the use of "cliché" (n.) when "clichéd" (adj.) is correct. He says he agrees with me, but that Robert Christgau told him many years ago that cliché was perfectly acceptable as a modifier. (Whether we can trust Robert Christgau about this is a question for another day.) Fast forward to today, a sad day, and I am re-reading "Don't Eat Before Reading This." Which contains this sentence:

 

"We despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs."

 

Am I wrong? Is The New Yorker wrong? Has the world just gone mad?



#2216 Sneakeater

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 09:03 PM

Xgau must have gotten to him.
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#2217 small h

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 09:13 PM

His influence is broader than I realized.



#2218 Wilfrid

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 12:22 AM

I think it's just a question of whether you're using a French word imported into English (Christgau) or using the English version (with the "d"). I think the latter is more common.

#2219 voyager

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 12:31 AM

Perhaps more valid is the questioning of subverted Eggs Benedict.   Not a bad concept when all ingredients are excellent, but a travesty when poorly sourced and cooked eggs sit on questionable bread and are covered with commercial glop.    This winter, I misguidedly ordered a house signature Benedict.   Inedible tower of overcooked eggs on soggy cornbread and some God-awfiully wrong sauce.   

 

j$12.95 sounds well within price range given decent components.      As I remember, my left uneaten plate was like $15.


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#2220 Sneakeater

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 12:34 AM

That $12.95 was a long time ago.
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