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Aunt Agatha Books: Now Available / Shipping

Its been some time since we announced that we were publishing Aunt Agatha as a booklet. We’ve had COVID, (more) Labour Party and Conservative Party incompetence and Putin.

The books have finally been delivered and will be contacting those who donated to send out their copies as soon as possible.

Those who donated to the project should login to their donation profile (linked above) and should find a request for postal details. We still have 60+ copies available. A simple donation gets you a book.

Rich, Tim and Team




10 thoughts on “Aunt Agatha Books: Now Available / Shipping”

  1. Congratulations. I’ll toddle over and buy a copy.

    Last month I also got through Covid nonsense, deadlines and inaccessible character sets to get a book published for a friend. I now have 487 copies sat in boxes in my living room. Anybody here interested in a revised overview of Surangama Buddhism rewritten in contemporary Chinese? 🙂

  2. Mandarin. But the main issue is… have you ever seen Bibles where different translations of the Gospels are printed side by side? It’s sort of like that. It has the original Sutras in ye olde poetic Chinese, followed by explanatory paragraphs written in modern-day vernacular.

    And, a bit like old Bibles where the translation was often chose to make the text justify nicely, the original Sutras are written in a poetic manner in a way that the blocks of text are in neat blocks of characters. So you get blocks of several lines of four-four-four-four tetrameter, but in modern chinese some of those words are no longer with four characters, it is full of allusions and sounds like ‘Shaka, when the walls fell’ and some phrases have changed their meaning. So it’s also a bit like writing a commentary on Shakespeare and explaining what “Made glorious summer by this sun of York” means and explaining that 1200 years ago “sun” sounded the same as “son”.

    And in the ye olde poetical form, there are characters that aren’t used in modern Chinese, so we had to ensure the printers had the correct sets of fonts for the printout to work.

  3. Here’s the English translation of one stanza:

    Ananda saw the Buddha. Bow down and weep. Hate never comes. Always heard.
    Not full strength. Kindly invite. Tathagata from ten directions.
    Attain Bodhi. Wonderful Samatha. Samadhana. Convenient at first.
    There will be again. Hengsha Bodhisattva. And all ten directions. Great Arhat.


    And the thing is, to a modern Chinese reader, it looks just as wierd. So then the commentary in modern vernacular:

    When Ananda saw the Buddha, he bowed down to the Buddha and cried with grief; he regretted that he had always paid attention to learning more, but his power was not complete.

  4. In the English version I had to ruthlessly prune away the Shatnerisms. There’s a convention in works that feature events during the Buddha’s lifetime that it is always presented in present tense, so it’s always:

    At that moment, Ananda gets up from his seat, exposes his right shoulder, kneels down on his
    right knee, joins his palms and says to the Buddha reverently… etc.

    but a straight translation would have that phrase again and again, so I massaged it into more readable English, so the next paragraph starts:

    After having heard what the Buddha said, Ananda bursts into tears again, prostrating himself and
    joining his palms, says to the Buddha…

  5. @Grikath
    Erik Njorl, son of Frothgar, leaves his home to seek Hangar the Elder at the home of Thorvald Nlodvisson, the son of Gudleif, half brother of Thorgier, the priest of Ljosa water, who took to wife Thurunn, the mother of Thorkel Braggart, the slayer of Cudround the powerful, who knew Howal, son of Geernon, son of Erik from Valdalesc, son of Arval Gristlebeard, son of Harken, who killed Bjortguaard in Sochnadale in Norway over Cudreed, daughter of Thorkel Long, the son of Kettle-Trout, the half son of Harviyoun Half-troll, father of Ingbare the Brave, who with Isenbert of Gottenberg the daughter of Hangbard the Fierce …
    Njorl’s Saga c/o Month Python (about 6:20 in)

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