BABEL: R.F. Kuang Signed 1st Edition With Sprayed Edges
Signed 1st Edition With Sprayed Edges
Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution is a 2022 novel by R. F. Kuang. It debuted at the first spot on The New York Times Best Seller list, and won Blackwell's Books of the Year for Fiction in 2022 and the 2022 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Thematically similar to The Poppy War, Kuang's first book series, the book criticizes British imperialism, capitalism, and the complicity of academia in perpetuating and enabling them. Kuang drew heavily from history and her own experiences as both a translator and an Oxford graduate.
Set in an alternate-reality 1830s England in which Britain's global economic and colonial supremacy are fueled by the use of magical silver bars. In this world, silver has magical properties tied to language: it is capable of capturing what is "lost in translation" between words in different languages that have similar, but not identical, meanings. Silver bars inscribed with such 'match-pairs' of words can thus manifest magical effects, which may increase agricultural production, improve the accuracy of bullets, heal injuries, and more. To harness the power of translation, Oxford University hosts the Royal Institute of Translation, nicknamed "Babel". At Babel, scholars work to find match-pairs between disparate languages, using their efforts to maintain Britain’s silver supremacy.
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