Nerd rage

Dec. 15th, 2010 04:23 pm
charamei: Books. Best weapons in the world. (DW10: Books)
My boss knows someone who is writing an AS-Level (= 17-year-olds, for you non-Brits) Ancient History textbook on Sparta. She asked me to proofread it. I said yes. I was expecting to learn something, not... THIS. *flails*

1. Oversimplification, sometimes to the point of being outright wrong. This one I can handle. It is AS, after all.

2. She completely skims all of the problematic elements of Herodotus' so-called 'History' and tries to tell these poor kids that he's really quite reliable, actually. Of course he is! The fact that most of his information came from people in pubs and he exaggerates to make the battles sound better, makes stuff up when he doesn't know the truth (see: the infamous hippopotamus description), and is by his own admission just trying to tell a ripping good story means nothing! Nothing, I say!

Look, you don't have to go to university levels here, but my God, Herodotus is so not reliable.

3. But what's got me uncontrollably nerdraging is that I've just caught her blatantly misinterpreting a really simple source.

Cut to save your reading pages... and your eyes. )

I don't even think she has an agenda, that's what's really making me cross. If she did have one I could understand her shoddy treatment of the sources, but from what I've read I think she's just a poor writer and a worse academic. According to her acknowledgements page, she's a poor academic who works at a college.
charamei: NaNoWriMo: I research more for this than I ever did for my thesis. (NaNoWriMo: I Research)
Dinarchus, lawcourt speeches, In Defense of Euthygenes, only surviving fragment (F20):

"The whole place was open."

I badly want this one sentence to have been the entire defense speech, ideally for burglary. It doesn't quite beat the guy who begins with 'Okay, so I didn't read the contract...', but it's along the same lines.

Ah, humanity. Never change.
charamei: NaNoWriMo: I research more for this than I ever did for my thesis. (NaNoWriMo: I Research)
So while fact-checking for NaNoWriMo, I stumbled across the random tidbit that Socrates and Alcibiades were lovers while both were adults (generally frowned upon in Athens).

Which raises all sorts of interesting questions, most notably: WARNING: CLASSICS NERDERY AHEAD )

(Oh, and at some point along the way I misread 'love of boys' as 'love of buoys' and became extremely confused.)
charamei: (NaNoWriMo08: Book Learnin')
Because somebody on the Internets asked for it, and because my diploma finally arrived, here's my MA dissertation.

The title: Tropologising Myth: interpreting the megatext of myth through the vernacular of modern shared narrative systems
Which means in English: How all classical myth and literature is basically fanfiction

(You see why we had to give it a poncy title.)

This is changed in only one significant way from the original: the addition of a Creative Commons license. Please note that this means my name and college are in the header, not the title, as that's where I put them for handing essays in to school.

Creative Commons License
Tropologising Myth: interpreting the megatext of myth through the vernacular of modern shared narrative systems by Catherine Russell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://charamei.dreamwidth.org/34111.html.

Please comment in this post for license extensions etc, and link to my Dreamwidth account when attributing.

Download [PDF]

And just to warn anyone wanting to use this for serious academia: it's not very good. I scraped a pass, due partly to laziness and partly to my family life falling down around my ears last year when I was meant to be doing this. Please be careful to critique it thoroughly.

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