Dave Mayo (count_fenring) wrote in bookish,
Dave Mayo

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The Absolute at Large - Proofreading Request

Disclaimer - This could be construed as self-promotion - it's for the benefit of a hobby project I'm working on. But I have no financial interest, and won't be receiving course credit (well, further course credit - this started as a college project). The resulting eBook will be in the public domain, and freely available.

I've been working on producing an e-book of an out-of-copyright English translation of Karel Čapek's The Absolute at Large. I scanned it and produced and HTML version around 2003-2004, and I've spent the last week or so converting it into ePub and mobipocket formats.

The Absolute at Large is an end-of-the-world narrative written between the first and second World Wars. The premise is that a device is invented that allows matter to be completely destroyed, yielding an enormous amount of energy - and, as a side effect, releasing divine energy, causing outbreaks of prophecy, miracles, and religious ecstasy.

Some additional info on the book:

I've produced an ARC-quality copy, and am currently looking for feedback to help me get it closer to professional quality. As my resources are basically zilch, my current plan is to put it out there, and see what feedback comes back to me. It's a fantastic book, and I think having a free English translation available will be a good thing.

So, here are the files:

Enjoy, and if you spot any errors, please let me know - but don't feel like you need to proofread in order to download.

That being said, if you do want to go through it with a critical eye, I'm particularly interested in the following:

  • Misplaced hyphens (I had to remove discretionary hyphens, and there were a LOT of them). e.g. "content-tious" or "erec-tion." Note that the hyphenated "to-day" and "to-morrow" are deliberate - they were represented that way in the original text.

  • Missing em-dashes (they look like this: — essentially long hyphens). The original text used them pretty much exclusively for showing broken thoughts or speech, or for asides, and a mid-project accident with encodings forced me to go and re-produce them by hand. Basically, any place where two words are smooshed together, or a sentence breaks down in the middle, it's probably missing an em-dash

  • "Smart quotes" facing the wrong way, i.e. ”These quotes are backwards!“

  • Characters not displaying properly, or showing up as placeholders. I've verifed that on some Android-based devices, bad unicode support is a problem

  • Any weird formatting or format-specific breakage

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