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The Ethics of Publishing

Quite a few people have been surprised that we plan to publish the translation on actual paper, as well as on the web.  Some people seem to think that this is a mercenary and reactionary step.  I kind of feel the same, in some ways.  Something that’s always horrified me about the study of vanishing cultures and languages (which is kind of what I do, after all) is that there is far, far more research done than anyone knows — but most of it winds up in academic papers that go unread and largely unavailable outside the tight community that reviews one another’s papers and buys them for their libraries.

And there’s a sense in which putting anything on paper, with a cover, feels like it’s part of that tradition.  But that feeling is an error!  We do not lose anything by putting things down on paper!  The fact is:

  • Just because we may publish a paper version does not mean we’ll put less content up on the web.  We’ll put all of it up on the web.
  • Our aim is to promote knowledge and understanding of Chiri Yukie’s work.  Sometimes a physical artifact that you can give out helps achieve this — for example with Nakano-san’s lectures.
  • Getting the text together for paper publication forces us to do more QA and polishing than we have been doing.  I’m sorry but it’s just true.

So, yes, there might be something up on Amazon soon (working title Songs of the Ainu Gods).  I anticipate that Nakano-san and I will account for 100% of all sales!