Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution
by R. F. Kuang
Pub Date 8/23/22 – Out Now!
Finishing out this month’s Tombathon with this beauty. This cover is so amazing and I’ve always been interested in language and the story of the tower of Babel.
This story grapples with students issues with assimilation, colonization (ugh they thought they were doing a good thing, uh for them) and the study of language.
Robin Swift, already having to change his name to make the English more comfortable and to fit in when he moves to England to study, not a good look. We follow two transfers from abroad and two females in this university. They are already outside the white rich male sphere and aren’t included in anything that is happening at the school.
Why does there have to be so many barriers to belong or move up? Where some never get the chance and will never be admitted. So infuriating.
❓ How many languages do you speak?
I speak English and a little French.
About the Book:
Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.
1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel.
For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide…
Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?
Thank you avonbooks and netgalley for the e-Arc for my honest and voluntary review.