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Old 03-24-2020, 05:34 PM
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Albert Uderzo dies at 92


Albert Uderzo co-creator of Asterix died today of a heart attack

I have probably read all of the Asterix albums and though some of them are dated, they are still fun to read. I introduced my kids to them and they enjoyed them too.


//i\\
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:40 PM
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Asterix was never the same post-Goscinny
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:39 PM
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I know Asterix is not that popular in America, but it is/was ridiculously popular in Germany. I grew up with the comics, and many quotes from it became common idioms (some even in Latin, like 'Alea iacta est'). There were obituaries in all the major TV news magazines, and simultaneously two major German TV channels at prime time showed Asterix movies this night. RIP Uderzo, I don't believe one second in it, but it'd be cool if you reunited with Goscinny and just carried on together like when Asterix still was the best comic to come out of Europe, and the most typical European comic.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:39 PM
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When my family was stationed in Istanbul I read a ton of Asterix comics. I loved them. Tintin was OK, but I way preferred Asterix. RIP Albert, you made one kid's childhood better.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:49 AM
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RIP. Asterix is one of my favourites. Formative stuff.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:55 AM
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I especially loved Asterix in the days before the books were Bowdlerized in the name of Political Correctness.

RIP, Albert.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:48 PM
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I read many of the earlier Asterix books and thought they were great. The visual and verbal gags were top-notch. It's amazing that the translators were able to translate these books into so many other languages.

I managed to get a copy of Asterix and the Golden Sickle in the original French, and I also got a copy of Asterix and Cleopatra in Hebrew. Comparing them with the English panel-for-panel, it's clear that the translators had to invent a whole bunch of new puns of their own in place of the originals, as puns rarely translate well. The visual gags, however, required little-to-no translating.

These books contains a lot of good bona-fide history too. To be sure, the good history was seamlessy mixed in with a lot of good silly parody, so it could be hard to separate the real history from the parody. But if I were teaching a history class covering that era, I would definitely suggest that my students read Asterix!

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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
I especially loved Asterix in the days before the books were Bowdlerized in the name of Political Correctness.

RIP, Albert.
Question: Are you referring to the later books? Or were some of the earlier books revised and re-issued to politically correctify them? If the former, that's bad enough. If the latter, that's awful. (The same could be said for some of the earlier Doctor Doolittle books.)

Here's the article from Washington Post:
Albert Uderzo, co-creator of French comics series Asterix, dies at 92

Hey! I learned a new word too!

Quote:
Alberto Aleandro Uderzo was born in Fismes, France, on April 25, 1927, and raised outside Paris. His father was a luthier, and both parents immigrated from Italy. He had surgery as a child to remove the extra digit on each hand.
Am I the only one here who never heard of a luthier before? I had to look that one up.

SPOILER:
It's a person who makes or repairs bowed stringed instruments, like violin, viola, or cello for example. I gather that would exclude things like guitar, dulcimer, and piano.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:55 PM
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As all Asterix fans are aware, these books were translated into dozens of languages.

One of those languages was Latin.

That would make them excellent reading for students taking Latin classes.

Has anyone here had that experience? Taking a Latin class and assigned to read Asterix in Latin?
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:39 PM
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Question: Are you referring to the later books? Or were some of the earlier books revised and re-issued to politically correctify them? If the former, that's bad enough. If the latter, that's awful. (The same could be said for some of the earlier Doctor Doolittle books.)
I'm referring to the earlier books. I haven't read many of the post-Goscinny books.

Yes, Bell and Hockridge did a brilliant job of translating, and I say this as a professional translator. Their puns were always as hilarious as the originals. I also learned a lot about British culture from reading their work.

I haven't read any of the Latin translations, but I learned a lot of French and German from reading those.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:44 PM
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Am I the only one here who never heard of a luthier before? I had to look that one up.
I'd never heard of a luthier before, but I once knew a guy named Lutemaker. Honest!
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:16 PM
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As all Asterix fans are aware, these books were translated into dozens of languages.

One of those languages was Latin.

That would make them excellent reading for students taking Latin classes.

Has anyone here had that experience? Taking a Latin class and assigned to read Asterix in Latin?
It's not so much that Asterix has been translated into Latin (though some of them have been), more that there is one elderly pirate with a cane and wooden leg who keeps declaiming citations in classical Latin.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:28 PM
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I loved the Asterix books ever since I first learned about them in 1967. They were difficult to get, but I found copies anyway. I have a collection of them, including the post-Goscinny ones. I have three paperback-sized volumes from the UK.

It is, indeed, interesting to compare the different national versions. The english-language ones are from the UK, and I thus have to "translate" some of the jokes and puns that rely on a knowledge of UK culture.

One of the weird things is that, in Asterix in Britain[/i] there's a scene with drunken Roman soldiers. Amidst the chorus of "hic"s emanating from this bunch, there is (predictably, you'd think) a trio going "hic, haec, hoc". If you've ever taken first-year Latin, this joke would be incredibly obvious and even inevitable. I was therefore surprised when I found an original French copy -- and the joke wasn't in there!


Asterix has been adapted for the screen numerous times. The early cartoons were pretty poor quality and forgettable (even though the original comics were excellent), but more recently they made a couple of live-action CGI-aided movies (with Gerard Depardieu, of all people, as Obelix) that were pretty good. The most rtecent version was a really excellent cartoon that puts the earlier ones to shame -- Asterix and the Vikings, based on Asterix and the Normans. Unfortunately, I haven't seen tthese released in the US either in theaters or on home video -- I saw them at science fiction conventions. Definitely worth looking up.

So long, Albert Uderzo, and thanks for all the Gauls!
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:58 PM
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Maybe the most famous quote from Asterix was Obelix' "Ils sont fous, les romains!". In the German translation, that was "Die spinnen, die Römer!" What was the English translation?
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:04 PM
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I saw Asterix and the Vikings in Riga a few years back. It was in English with Latvian and Russian subtitles.

The live-action films with Depardieu were shown on Russian TV pretty often when I was living there full-time. I can't remember if they were in French or English, but they always had Russian voiceovers.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:05 PM
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Maybe the most famous quote from Asterix was Obelix' "Ils sont fous, les romains!". In the German translation, that was "Die spinnen, die Römer!" What was the English translation?
"These Romans are crazy!"

Nitpick: It's ces Romains.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:22 PM
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Thank You!
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:53 PM
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It took me a while to realize that the English name of the Egyptian with the shaved head in Asterix and Cleopatra ("Krukut") was pronounced "Crewcut," but what was it in French (and German)?

One of the best exchanges ever came in that story after Asterix and Obelix beat the crap out of a Roman contingent that attacked them:

ROMAN A: Okay, men! Let's form up for another charge!

ROMAN B: One more charge like that and we'll be driven into the Nile!

ROMAN C: We'll be annihilated!

ROMAN D: One more pun like that and I desert!
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:56 PM
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It took me a while to realize that the English name of the Egyptian with the shaved head in Asterix and Cleopatra ("Krukut") was pronounced "Crewcut," but what was it in French (and German)?
If you are talking about the assistant to the main antagonist, then that is Tournevis, which means screwdriver, and the main antagonist names was Amonbofis which sounds like Ah, my good looking Son or alternatively Ah my son-in-law.

I have not read any of them in something other than French so I do not know how well all of the pun names translated, but I still get a kick out of the name of the Chief Abraracourcix which comes out of as something like with shortened hands and some of the other main characters, as well as all of the roman camp names that surround the village. I also found it amusing when Obélix found the names of other people to be funny because they did not end in "ix" like all of theirs.

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Old 03-25-2020, 08:00 PM
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If you are talking about the assistant to the main antagonist, then that is Tournevis, which means screwdriver, and the main antagonist names was Amonbofis which sounds like Ah, my good looking Son or alternatively Ah my son-in-law.
Huh! The significance of "Krukut" is apparent (the guy was bald as a billiard ball), but what's that of "Tournevis," other than it sounds funny? IIRC, he was a scribe by profession.

The names of the two competing architects were Edifis and Artifis (I don't remember offhand who was who), which makes perfect sense.

The names given to Romans in the books were the best: Marcus Ginantonticus, Crismus Bonus, Nefarius Purpus, Dubius Status, Sendervictorius, Appianglorius, Obsequeus.... My favorite was the olympic athlete Gluteus Maximus.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:19 PM
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One of the weird things is that, in Asterix n Britain there's a scene with drunken Roman soldiers. Amidst the chorus of "hic"s emanating from this bunch, there is (predictably, you'd think) a trio going "hic, haec, hoc". If you've ever taken first-year Latin, this joke would be incredibly obvious and even inevitable. I was therefore surprised when I found an original French copy -- and the joke wasn't in there!
In the French version, Obelix says "Look, Asterix! That man has a melon* on his head!" when they're riding in the cart over the bridge in Londinium. In the English one, he says "I say, Asterix! I think this bridge is falling down!"

I had to say the name of the Britons' leader out loud a few times before I got the French pun: "Zebigbos."

*The French word for a bowler. The previous panel had shown a street vendor and a customer arguing over a piece of fruit. Similarly, the French title for The Avengers (the series with John Steed and Emma Peel) was Chapeau melon et bottes de cuir ("Bowler Hat and Leather Boots").
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:27 PM
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The previous panel had shown a street vendor and a customer arguing over a piece of fruit.
In the English version, the exchange was:

IRATE VENDOR: Oh, so this melon is bad, is it?

HUFFY CUSTOMER: Rawther, old fruit!
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:44 AM
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The names given to Romans in the books were the best: Marcus Ginantonticus, Crismus Bonus, Nefarius Purpus, Dubius Status, Sendervictorius, Appianglorius, Obsequeus.... My favorite was the olympic athlete Gluteus Maximus.
And of course, Odius Asparagus.

Seems like at least some of English pun names were better than the original French, as best I can tell. The Druid's French name is Panoramix. What does that mean? Is there a pun there? In English, it's Getafix.

The bard's French name is Assurancetourix which I'm told means Traveler's Insurance. In English, his name is Cacofonix.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:05 AM
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And of course, Odius Asparagus.

Seems like at least some of English pun names were better than the original French, as best I can tell. The Druid's French name is Panoramix. What does that mean? Is there a pun there? In English, it's Getafix.

The bard's French name is Assurancetourix which I'm told means Traveler's Insurance. In English, his name is Cacofonix.
... And the blacksmith/armorer's name is Fulliautomatix, and the fishmonger's name is Unhygenix.

The leader of the Caledonians (Scots) was MacAnix, and that of the Hibernians (Irish) was O'veroptimistix.

The chief of Asterix's tribe is Vitalstatistix, supposedly a comment on his ample proportions. I actually prefer his German name: Majestix. His wife's name is Impedimenta.

Here's a long list of chaarcters' names in multiple languages:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...Vitalstatistix
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:30 AM
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I think there were cases where G&U devoted an entire page to setting up some elaborate pun, and if it didn't translate well into English, the translators re-wrote the entire page of dialog because none of it would have made any sense. ISTR there was a whole page like this in Asterix The Gladiator.

OTOH, the entire first two pages of Asterix In Switzerland is devoted to setting up an elaborate pun -- in English! I have to assume that the same must have somehow worked in the original French, or else they could never have written and drawn what they did. Full text and art, in English.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:24 AM
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And of course, Odius Asparagus.

Seems like at least some of English pun names were better than the original French, as best I can tell. The Druid's French name is Panoramix. What does that mean? Is there a pun there? In English, it's Getafix.

The bard's French name is Assurancetourix which I'm told means Traveler's Insurance. In English, his name is Cacofonix.
Panoramix is a pun on Panoramic, probably because he has a larger view of the world than a lot of his fellow gauls.

Assurancetourix, is not really Traveler's insurance but rather complete coverage insurance (literally Insurance all risks) like you would get for a car.

The chief's wife is called Bonemine (bonne mine), which means someone who is always up beat or with a sunny disposition, which of course is the complete opposite of her character.

But back to Uderzo, one interesting thing that I did not realize about him was that he was color blind and made sure to clearly label his paint and pencil colors. He also did the illustrations for Les Aventures de Tanguy et Laverdure, which was made into two animated tv series and inspired a live action movie .

//i\\
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:37 AM
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And of course, Odius Asparagus.

Seems like at least some of English pun names were better than the original French, as best I can tell. The Druid's French name is Panoramix. What does that mean? Is there a pun there? In English, it's Getafix.

The bard's French name is Assurancetourix which I'm told means Traveler's Insurance. In English, his name is Cacofonix.
I never liked translating the Druid's name as "Getafix". It makes him sound like a drug pusher -- and not the kind that makes strength potions.

I understand re-naming the dog "Dogmatix", but they really could have kept it as "Ideefix"


That said, really do like the Roman names (and names for the Roman camps) they come up with.


And I think the Egyptian in Asterix the Legionary -- "Ptenisnet", represented in his speech fumetti as a drawing of a Tennis Net -- is priceless. Does anyone know what the name (and joke) in the French original was?
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:12 AM
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And I think the Egyptian in Asterix the Legionary -- "Ptenisnet", represented in his speech fumetti as a drawing of a Tennis Net -- is priceless. Does anyone know what the name (and joke) in the French original was?
In French it is Tennis Court (Courdeténis) so very similar

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Old 03-26-2020, 09:12 AM
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Anthea Bell was briefly mentioned upstream. She was the one who translated Asterix into English, and created a whole new range of puns and wordplay for it.

She also died, about 18 month ago. An obituary of her wide-ranging work as a translator is here.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:39 PM
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Hey! I learned a new word too!



Am I the only one here who never heard of a luthier before? I had to look that one up.

SPOILER:
It's a person who makes or repairs bowed stringed instruments, like violin, viola, or cello for example. I gather that would exclude things like guitar, dulcimer, and piano.
Guitar builders are luthiers alright. Bowed string instruments isn't a qualifier.

Asterix comics are a cherished part of my early years. Goscinny died impossibly early, but the death of Uderzo marks the end of an era to me.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:06 PM
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Anthea Bell was briefly mentioned upstream. She was the one who translated Asterix into English, and created a whole new range of puns and wordplay for it.

She also died, about 18 month ago. An obituary of her wide-ranging work as a translator is here.
This is a good example of what it means to be a translator. They don't just take words from one language and put them into another. Anyone with a bilingual dictionary could do that, and the result wouldn't be a translation.

Translators need not only a native or near-native knowledge of the original language (which, unless you're lucky enought to be born into a multi-lingual family, takes years to acquire). They also have to write well in their own language in a variety of styles and registers, and they require a broad knowledge of other cultures and disciplines.

I've been at it professionally for almost 40 years now, and I never stop learning. Languages change over time, and I have to keep up with them.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:11 PM
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Assurancetourix, is not really Traveler's insurance but rather complete coverage insurance (literally Insurance all risks) like you would get for a car.
"Comprehensive auto insurance."
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:48 PM
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"Comprehensive auto insurance."
So in German, they could have named the bard Vollkaskoix, but they went for the somewhat lame Troubadix. But I like Verleihnix, the fishmonger.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:53 PM
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... And the crotchety old village elder is Geriatrix.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:01 PM
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Another good name in the German translation, in "Asterix and the Normans," was Grautvornix, Justforkix (which was also very clever) in English, the young Norman who wanted to learn what fear is, because Grautvornix means "Isn't afraid of anything".
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:02 PM
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... And the crotchety old village elder is Geriatrix.
In German, Methusalix. Somehow the Gauls of that time must've picked up some of the old testament .
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:45 AM
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So many great books, although the later ones did not capture their original brilliance. May both G and U spend eternity in The Mansions of the Gods.
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:47 AM
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I loved those books when I was a kid, any time I stumbled upon a Tintin or Asterix and Obelix book in the library was a good day.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:26 AM
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Does anyone here know Goscinny's Le petit Nicolas? My daughter read the books in French when she was in primary school. I remember them as being very clever and funny.
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:41 PM
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I loved those books when I was a kid, any time I stumbled upon a Tintin or Asterix and Obelix book in the library was a good day.
Tintin was actually by Hergé. But some Oumpah-Pah and Lucky Luke and other Goscinny creations appeared in Tintin magazine.

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Does anyone here know Goscinny's Le petit Nicolas? My daughter read the books in French when she was in primary school. I remember them as being very clever and funny.
Sure, I know them, and I read them, they are not very obscure, just haven't cracked them open in a while. Basically they are children's books featuring schoolchildren.
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