Friday, May 8, 2009

smacked up against the fence again

This time I didn't even need google scholar to get the doors of knowledge slammed in my face. I was just looking for a name for a female Russian cosmonaut (I like that word rahter better than astronaut). I found lots of Russian names, but then I got to thinking that since she is really from some global-warmed part of Siberia, I should look for some Siberian names. Pages of siberian husky names popped up. And a curious string from 2003 in which someone named Caprice was looking for authentic Inuit and Siberian names, but the string contained only a helpful lead for Inuit names. Then, at the bottom of the second or third page of links, I found this blurb: "NAMES OF. SIBERIAN PEOPLES. In recent years the names of nearly all the native Siberian peoples have been changed. The reasons for this were that the former..."

Arrgh! Aren't you dying to know too? Well, okay, maybe not. I think we all know what followed that ellipsis. Another great swath of humanity's cultural history was annihilated while we slept. But if you did want to know just how bad culture-cide was in the former Soviet Union and you clicked on the link you would wind up at the American Journal of Physical Anthropology's website, where you wouldn't be able to read the article (without paying for it) or read the abstract (because there wasn't one).

Again I must console myself that reading that article wouldn't have been an efficient use of my scant free time; I was simply working on getting myself happily distracted. Really, I found out what I wanted to know, which was that a Russian name would do just fine for a future Russian/Siberian cosmonaut and now I should stop lollygagging around and get back to work on the story. Except that ...

next I have to find a website that will tell me how to pronounce "Lyuha" (first name). Not necessarily because the story is about someone with a voice in her head (that isn't hers) but because I always have voices in my head - in particular when I'm reading - and I want whatever voice is talking to me when I writing and reading this story to know how to say "Lyuha Kuzmina" properly.

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