Bierce Short Fiction

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C T

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Apr 29, 2022, 4:21:00 PMApr 29
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"Tales of Soldiers and Civilians" is on the wanted list.

Should this just be a general 'short fiction' omnibus instead, as some of the others in the corpus are?

Also, Fantastic Fables is ~28k words.

Can this be included somehow in a short fiction omnibus, or should it be produced separately?

I'd like to take on either or both as my next project.

Alex Cabal

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Apr 29, 2022, 4:25:23 PMApr 29
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We have to research his corpus to see what his short fiction output
looks like. If he had many collections and there is an overlap in
stories, then a short fiction omnibus is required. Putting a spreadsheet
together is a good start here.

On 4/29/22 3:20 PM, C T wrote:
> "Tales of Soldiers and Civilians" is on the wanted list.
> https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13334
> <https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13334>
>
> Should this just be a general 'short fiction' omnibus instead, as some
> of the others in the corpus are?
>
> Also, *Fantastic Fables *is ~28k words.
>
> Can this be included somehow in a short fiction omnibus, or should it be
> produced separately?
>
> I'd like to take on either or both as my next project.
>
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C T

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Apr 29, 2022, 4:27:28 PMApr 29
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Someone's done a great job already of the list.


I can start a spreadsheet and xref it to what already has been transcribed at PG.


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C T

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May 2, 2022, 12:32:20 PMMay 2
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So.. Bierce is *complicated*. Multiple collections, a 'collected works' that has about 1/3 to 1/2 of his output (depending on who you ask) etc.

I am working on the spreadsheet and will have something to share in a few days.

C T

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May 17, 2022, 9:27:22 AMMay 17
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Here's the spreadsheet I put together for Bierce.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R_fe5tNUhOmY38dnbA7n1DxJQO9KhHDwnzPgjT1ggac/edit?usp=sharing

Alex, what are your thoughts on how to organize this?

I was thinking something like:

- A Poetry collection (should we exclude or include the poems already included in 'the devil's dictionary?' (i'm thinking exclude them since they're already there)

- 'Short Fiction' collection for everything that can be reasonably classified as his typical 'short story' - everything from In the Midst of Life and Can Such things be, as well as most stories from vol 1, vol 8, and vol 11 of his collected works., as well as some items from cobwebs, fiends delight, and fiction items from nuggets and dust (which I've not been able to find a transcription of yet).

- Then either a separate section in that short fiction collection, or a separate collection for the fantastic fables, the 'fables' items from cobwebs, and the very short epigrams /  

- should we have a separate ebook for the monk and the hangman's daughter due to the co-authorial nature of it?

- What to do about the Dance of Death (and possibly the Dance of Life as well) - these could easily go together in a single ebook. 'The Dance of Life' provenance is uncertain

- Write it Right even though short feels more like 'the devil's dictionary' and could probaby be its own ebook.


Alex Cabal

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May 20, 2022, 4:44:38 PMMay 20
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Great work!

We can do a poetry book, but excluding whatever is in Devil's Dictionary.

For short fiction, this might be a PG Wodehouse situation in that he
wrote some themed collections but there's a lot that's uncollected too.
How many of these collections are themed? For example Fables and Tales
of Soldiers and Civilians appear to be themed.

Monk and the Hangman's Daughter can be in short fiction, we would just
add a 2nd byline for that one in the header. I don't know about the two
Dances especially if it's unclear if he really wrote Dance of Life.
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C T

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May 21, 2022, 10:05:35 AMMay 21
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So generally, his Short Fiction is often classified into a few categories. He was writing before 'genre writing' really became a thing, so much of his work makes it hard to categorize, and he overlaps a lot. He reorganized and revised his two main short story collections for his collected works, and moved some stories around from 'in the midst of life' and 'can such things be', *didn't include some*, etc.

Most scholars seem to now group them into a few basic categories:

- American Civil War Fiction (the 'Soliders' stories and a few others from 'miscellaneous' and 'negligblle tales' in the collected works)
- Weird Fiction / Tall Tales (horror stories, what we might now call 'science' fiction and fantasy, 'future history')
- Fables & Epigrams: Fantastic Fables, the 'Fables of Zambri' from Cobwebs, and Short aesop-like satirical epigrams, which *include a few poems as part of them* much like the Devil's Dictionary)
- All Other Short Fiction: (The Monk and Hangman's Daughter, Kings of Beasts, His satirical plays & dramatic poetry)
- Satire (e.g. the longer Write it Right, as well as man short satirical pieces (some of the 'tall talk' from The Fiends Delight, some items from cobwebs and the collected works)

His satire is really hard to classify as 'fiction' vs 'nonfiction' (and to be honest I can't seem to find a clear definition of when satire is nonfiction vs fiction). A lot of it is collected items from Fun which was a magazine similar to Punch. Much of it is his collected 'humor' or 'satire' columns from the Hearst newspapers.

He has whole collections also of nonfiction essays which are generally clearly nonfiction editorials but also contain a lot of his biting satire.

There are also a few selections of what he calls 'The Mummery' alongside his standard poetry, which are short satirical plays. "two administrations" also fits into the 'satirical play' category.









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Alex Cabal

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May 21, 2022, 1:40:50 PMMay 21
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OK. I think the approach would be, one ebook each of:

- Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

- Fantastic Fables

- Short Fiction for everything else

- Poetry for all poetry

Let's set the nonfiction aside for now, I think we probably don't want
much of it. We can revisit that later.

On 5/21/22 9:05 AM, C T wrote:
> So generally, his Short Fiction is often classified into a few
> categories. He was writing before 'genre writing' really became a thing,
> so much of his work makes it hard to categorize, and he overlaps a lot.
> He reorganized and revised his two main short story collections for his
> collected works, and moved some stories around from 'in the midst of
> life' and 'can such things be', *didn't include some*, etc.
>
> Most scholars seem to now group them into a few basic categories:
>
> - American Civil War Fiction (the 'Soliders' stories and a few others
> from 'miscellaneous' and 'negligblle tales' in the collected works)
> - Weird Fiction / Tall Tales (horror stories, what we might now call
> 'science' fiction and fantasy, 'future history')
> - Fables & Epigrams: Fantastic Fables, the 'Fables of Zambri' from
> Cobwebs, and Short aesop-like satirical epigrams, which *include a few
> poems as part of them* much like the Devil's Dictionary)
> - All Other Short Fiction: (The Monk and Hangman's Daughter, Kings of
> Beasts, His satirical plays & dramatic poetry)
> - Satire (e.g. the longer Write it Right, as well as man short satirical
> pieces (some of the 'tall talk' from The Fiends Delight, some items from
> cobwebs and the collected works)
>
> His satire is really hard to classify as 'fiction' vs 'nonfiction' (and
> to be honest I can't seem to find a clear definition of when satire is
> nonfiction vs fiction). A lot of it is collected items from /Fun /which
> was a magazine similar to /Punch. /Much of it is his collected 'humor'
> > <mailto:concave...@gmail.com
> <mailto:concave...@gmail.com>>> wrote:
> >
> >     So.. Bierce is *complicated*. Multiple collections, a 'collected
> >     works' that has about 1/3 to 1/2 of his output (depending on
> who you
> >     ask) etc.
> >
> >     I am working on the spreadsheet and will have something to
> share in
> >     a few days.
> >
> >     On Fri, Apr 29, 2022 at 4:26 PM C T
> <concave...@gmail.com <mailto:concave...@gmail.com>
> >     <mailto:concave...@gmail.com
> <mailto:concave...@gmail.com>>> wrote:
> >
> >         Someone's done a great job already of the list.
> >
> > http://www.ambrosebierce.org/works.html
> <http://www.ambrosebierce.org/works.html>
> >         <http://www.ambrosebierce.org/works.html
> <http://www.ambrosebierce.org/works.html>>
> >
> >         I can start a spreadsheet and xref it to what already has
> been
> >         transcribed at PG.
> >
> >
> >         On Fri, Apr 29, 2022 at 4:25 PM Alex Cabal
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C T

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May 21, 2022, 1:48:49 PMMay 21
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Great - I'll start with Poetry, if that's okay? It's the least amount of extra work to organize.

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Alex Cabal

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May 21, 2022, 1:49:15 PMMay 21
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OK!
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> >      >
> >      >              >
> >      >
> >
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C T

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May 21, 2022, 11:27:06 PMMay 21
to standar...@googlegroups.com
Initial Repo: https://github.com/ConcaveTrillion/ambrose-bierce_poetry
I sucked in the two gutenberg htmls, I'll be adding the gutenberg refs to the colophon and content.opf manually but I think I can do a lot of the heavy lifting with regex/scripts to wrap the poems with <span> etc.

I was going to follow the examples of other poetry collections as this is my first collection - one file, <article> elements, etc.

Any gotchas when doing collections that I should be aware of? 



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Alex Cabal

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May 22, 2022, 11:24:26 PMMay 22
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Not especially. See Keats or Wilfred Owen for Frost for some examples.

On 5/21/22 10:26 PM, C T wrote:
> Initial Repo: https://github.com/ConcaveTrillion/ambrose-bierce_poetry
> <https://github.com/ConcaveTrillion/ambrose-bierce_poetry>
> I sucked in the two gutenberg htmls, I'll be adding the gutenberg refs
> to the colophon and content.opf manually but I think I can do a lot of
> the heavy lifting with regex/scripts to wrap the poems with <span> etc.
>
> I was going to follow the examples of other poetry collections as this
> is my first collection - one file, <article> elements, etc.
>
> Any gotchas when doing collections that I should be aware of?
>
>
>
> On Sat, May 21, 2022 at 1:49 PM Alex Cabal <al...@standardebooks.org
> <mailto:al...@standardebooks.org>> wrote:
>
> OK!
>
> On 5/21/22 12:48 PM, C T wrote:
> > Great - I'll start with Poetry, if that's okay? It's the least
> amount of
> > extra work to organize.
> >
> > On Sat, May 21, 2022 at 1:40 PM Alex Cabal
> <al...@standardebooks.org <mailto:al...@standardebooks.org>
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C T

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Jun 8, 2022, 9:37:41 PMJun 8
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For the poetry collection art, I think a crop of this would work really well. (CC0)


something like this:
unnamed2.png

It seems to fit with his poem A Vision of Doom:

"I stood upon a hill. The setting sun
Was crimson with a curse and a portent,
And scarce his angry ray lit up the land
That lay below, whose lurid gloom appeared
Freaked with a moving mist, which, reeking up
From dim tarns hateful with some horrid ban,
Took shapes forbidden and without a name."
....
"Ensainted, saw its populous domain
Plague-smitten with a nameless shame. For there
Red-handed murder rioted; and there
The people gathered gold, nor cared to loose
The assassin's fingers from the victim's throat,
But said, each in his vile pursuit engrossed:
'Am I my brother's keeper? Let the Law
Look to the matter.' But the Law did not."

Alex Cabal

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Jun 8, 2022, 10:34:37 PMJun 8
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That works, thanks!

On 6/8/22 8:36 PM, C T wrote:
> For the poetry collection art, I think a crop of this would work really
> well. (CC0)
>
> https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1972.119
> <https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1972.119>
>
> something like this:
> unnamed2.png
>
> It seems to fit with his poem /A Vision of Doom/:
>
> "I stood upon a hill. The setting sun
> Was crimson with a curse and a portent,
> And scarce his angry ray lit up the land
> That lay below, whose lurid gloom appeared
> Freaked with a moving mist, which, reeking up
> From dim tarns hateful with some horrid ban,
> Took shapes forbidden and without a name."
> ....
> "Ensainted, saw its populous domain
> Plague-smitten with a nameless shame. For there
> Red-handed murder rioted; and there
> The people gathered gold, nor cared to loose
> The assassin's fingers from the victim's throat,
> But said, each in his vile pursuit engrossed:
> 'Am I my brother's keeper? Let the Law
> Look to the matter.' But the Law did not."
>
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C T

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Jun 11, 2022, 5:18:56 PMJun 11
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I've got a formatting question for this poem.

It's clear Bierce is making fun of Poe's poem here, with the quotation marks. Any suggestions on this? 

I was going to wrap each double quote in spans and set 'em' widths on them to try to approximate how the poem appears here.

image.png

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Weijia Cheng

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Jun 11, 2022, 6:06:48 PMJun 11
to Standard Ebooks
Couldn't you use the em space? U+2003?

C T

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Jun 11, 2022, 6:55:06 PMJun 11
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Unicode em space seems haphazard in browsers and doesn't seem to always be the same width, and doesn't give fine tuning control for reflowing text. 

Using spans and custom css (margin left/right) I was able to make it look like this:
image.png
It looks like the typesetter added additional spaces in the 2nd to last line so as to fit the ditto marks, so I did the same with spans...

This resizes and flows fairly well. Its a mess of additional HTML and the local.css to go along with it, but I'm not sure embedding fixed spaces is a better solution.

I used left curly quotes as that's what was used in the text, is there any standard to switch to the unicode ditto mark?





Vince

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Jun 11, 2022, 7:02:22 PMJun 11
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On Jun 11, 2022, at 5:54 PM, C T <concave...@gmail.com> wrote:

I used left curly quotes as that's what was used in the text, is there any standard to switch to the unicode ditto mark?

See SEMoS 8.7.5.4.

C T

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Jun 11, 2022, 7:03:53 PMJun 11
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Thanks Vince. Another case when I should have done Ctrl-F. Appreciate it!

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Alex Cabal

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Jun 12, 2022, 4:59:40 PMJun 12
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I wouldn't even go that far, because different fonts at different sizes
are going to produce totally different results. You're going to try to
match the sizing for the default font on your web browser, but that's
the only place it's going to look perfect. Every other renderer is going
to do it differently.

This is one of those things that's just not possible to emulate nicely
in epub with the constrained CSS we have available. I'd just try to
roughly get it right with nbsp and call it a day without stressing out
too much about pixel perfect alignment.

On 6/11/22 4:18 PM, C T wrote:
> I've got a formatting question for this poem.
>
> It's clear Bierce is making fun of Poe's poem here, with the quotation
> marks. Any suggestions on this?
>
> I was going to wrap each double quote in spans and set 'em' widths on
> them to try to approximate how the poem appears here.
>
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C T

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Jun 15, 2022, 9:18:01 PMJun 15
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Sounds good, thanks Alex.

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