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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is Turabian's manual for writers, with its chapter full of examples of how to cite everything from a regular book to an unpublished interview or even a painting.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

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?

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