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Art Books As Source Material

Given the sorts of things I write papers about, I occasionally have to figure out ways to cite some very weird media in my bibliographies. Thank God for e-mail -- it means that I can take a citation of "something I once heard a cantor say," get it in writing, and have an actual document to cite. There is the juggernaut that is Turabian's manual for writers, with its chapter full of examples of how to cite everything from a regular book to an unpublished interview or even a painting. There are people who work hard to figure out how to cite the most obscure sources.

However, all that effort is as naught against the forces of a source that, out of some publisher's peeved perversion, deliberately makes itself difficult to cite. Art books are the major culprits here. I needed one fact from one of two introductions to a collection of old Little Orphan Annie strips from the 1930s and 1940s. Simple, right? It's in a book, and Turabian helpfully shows you how to cite an introduction.

Ha. Ha ha ha. The official author of the book is Harold Gray, who created the strip. Unfortunately, he died before that introduction was written. The other introduction is by Al Capp, but no one will cop to having written the introduction I wanted to cite. So much for "author." There's also no page number on either of the introductions. In fact, there are no page numbers anywhere in the book. In and of itself, this does not faze me -- I learned how to deal with that sort of citation during Le Thesis. The two introductions take up only four pages, so it's easy enough to locate the fact that I cited. But what if I'd cited dialogue from the strip? You'd never be able to go through and find the source then, no matter how careful my citation was.

I tell ya -- I spend a whole year in various bibliography classes learning how to do right by my sources, and this is how they repay me? What am I, chopped liver?

Comments

ns_tulkas
Mar. 8th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
You're freaking me out here, cut it out! What's the answer?!
frenchpony
Mar. 8th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what the answer is. I just cite the book, give as much information as I have, and hope for the best. And it's such a piddling citation, too. I wanted to cite the fact that Little Orphan Annie was a radio show, and that Shirley Bell was the lead actress.
ns_tulkas
Mar. 15th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
I met with my proseminar teacher and he was amused I already had the paper written out. He did show me the fine details of correct bibiliography and note listings. Does somebody really checks it to see if you made a mistake?
frenchpony
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
I met with my proseminar teacher and he was amused I already had the paper written out.

That's the best kind of amused for a teacher to be. Rewrites are always easier than first drafts.

I don't know if this particular professor will check this particular paper's bibliography for mistakes. But the I.N.P.O.D. certainly did!
ns_tulkas
Mar. 16th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
INPOD? Sounds like a new apple product... BTW, you must have heard of the iPhone. As a Mac user, do you think it's a good product? I know it hasn't launched yet, but I'm fishing around for consumer reviews. I watched the Keynote presentation and Steve was so entertraining and convincing, he made me want run out and buy it.
frenchpony
Mar. 16th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
I have heard of the iPhone, but I don't know much about it. I'm not a great fan of cell phones to begin with, so I didn't pay much attention to that particular release.
ns_tulkas
Mar. 16th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
Oh man, and me being a gadget freak with no one to talk to about this.
arwensommer
Mar. 17th, 2007 11:45 am (UTC)
Sorry for interrupting and or invading another's thread, but if you are still hoping for someone to talk to about this... I'm a Mac user -and- a gadget freak?
ns_tulkas
Mar. 17th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oo Oo Oo! A gadget freak!
What do you think of the iPhone? I read a review on some site citing the 'smear' factor as a big minus to the product, and going on and on about touch screens being nice 'buzz creators' but failing miserably in practicality. I think it's a weak point for an argument, since people keep wiping off their Motorola phones (I should know, I have one) it bothers them not at all. It probably will not sell in Israel, at least not for the first year, but damn I want one! I am, after all, a consumer that is influenced by the package, and this is a really "shiny thing"!
arwensommer
Mar. 17th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
See, I wipe my phone, too, so it wouldn't bother me in the least. As far as touch screens... Eh. Half my stuff operates that way and it's -handy-. As for it getting sold, this is what my "crack dealer" (gadget sales person) said:

"As far as we know, the iPhone will be released '4th quarter 2007' to the non-US market, but we'll be importing it directly once it's released. Obviously we can't -market- it, but the people that want one will know to ask for one."

I think I'll want to actually -hold- the thing in my hands before I decide whether I want one. I -do- know however that I postponed buying a so-called smartphone because the iPhone was coming...
ns_tulkas
Mar. 19th, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
I wonder which cell phone company will support it when it gets here. It would probably cost a fortune and will only be available at Bug (comp store) or Yeda (Mac store) or Best Buy. Problem is if one of the cell phone companies won't carry it, buying it independently and having them service you will cost more than the phone, probably, which I think will retail here around 3000 NIS. Ouch!
I know, though, that when I'll see it I'll want it.
arwensommer
Mar. 20th, 2007 08:37 am (UTC)
I'm going to engage in some heavy speculation here, but... I know the provider in the US will be Cingular (at first?). Since they are part of the Orange network, perhaps your local Orange provider will fit the bill?

Things are really that extreme? Out here, you're free to mix-and-match: choose your phone, choose your provider, slide in SIM card and ready... Guess we -are- lucky, huh? (The only "benefit" - and it's a limited one at best! - is that if you pick one of the provider's phones, you sometimes get a discount on the MRRP.)
ns_tulkas
Mar. 20th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
That would be perfect because I'm an Orange client! No, here it's simpler to buy a phone from the service provider, because if you get one independently then you'll have to find a provider that is willing to support it and then you'll probably have to pay extra. ...But maybe Orange will carry the iPhone and solve my problem?
ns_tulkas
Mar. 19th, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)
Hey! I just saw that you live in the Netherlands! My mom and sis are going there next month to visit my aunt on their way to the US.

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