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Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  101 reviews
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 Ba
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Hardcover
Expected publication: August 2022 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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may ➹
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
wake up babe, new dark academia by RF Kuang that tackles colonialism and empire just dropped
Melanie
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
"BABEL is a dark academia set in 1830s Oxford that interrogates language, translation, and colonialism. It's THE SECRET HISTORY meets JONATHAN STRANGE, enhanced by a heady dose of violent decolonization." - R.F. Kuang

i am actually quaking. and this is going to be everything. the title(s) alone makes me vibrate as a glass shattering frequency. decolonization, translations and languages, reinventing dark academia? we truly love it here SO MUCH!


(beautiful art by cosmikbread)

Blog | Instagram | You
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Sofia
May 05, 2021 marked it as to-read
I will read anything by my queen.
aNYTHING.
EVEN A SHOPPING LIST.
✨ A ✨
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
DARK ACADEMIA BY THE QUEEN RF KUANG????

I AM COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS 😭🙏🏽



BABEL is a dark academia set in 1830s Oxford that interrogates language, translation, and colonialism. It's THE SECRET HISTORY meets JONATHAN STRANGE, enhanced by a heady dose of violent decolonization.

•Release Date: August 2022•
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Layla
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated-2022
I didn't even read the synopsis before adding this to my TBR at an unfathomable speed. I just saw that it was by R.F. Kuang and that was all I needed to know. I have never before in my life been more excited for emotional instability than I am now. ...more
Lucy Tonks
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Do I know what this is about? Nope, not really.
But
Dark academia R.F. Kuang style? SIGN. ME. IN.

After reading The Poppy War, I already know I'm gonna read anything this woman writes, so please welcome this book to my already long TBR.

this book releases in summer of 2022 and I'm already excited!! help this is not good
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katie ❀
rf kuang decolonizing dark academia is exactly what we need.... and i am not prepared in the slightest
zia
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
everyday i wake up and thank the lord im living in the same time as rfk
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
happy birthday to me, august is now officially the month of dark academia releases in both 2021 and 2022 ✨

other notes:
- the fact the title mimics those extensively long-winded book titles from the 18th century is just very attractive of kuang
- 'the necessity of violence' is also just very attractive
- I, personally, will be spending the next year trying to break into the harpervoyager offices
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Richa
May 05, 2021 marked it as later
A Dark Academia by Kuang? Say no more, I'm sold.

5/6/21: Learning more about what Babel is. AHHH it's dropping on my birthday month, can't wait.
5/26/21:
Found this song: Babylon - 5SOS
https://open.spotify.com/track/6PUYqQ...
Think it hits right for Babel.
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Dilan
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: unreleased
what is joe biden’s plan to stop r.f. kuang from making these characters suffer
Kyle
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
You can’t expect me to see a book with the words The Secret History in the blurb, and not immediately add it to my shelf.
Fanna
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2022-releases
May 04, 2021: all you need to say is "translation as a tool for colonisation" and all you need to be is "rf kuang", and then I'll dedicate all my time to think about these four characters till this book releases. ...more
Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
i'm ready for dark acadamia: rf kaung version

i will gladly read anything this woman releases... especially when it’s dark acadamia with themes of colonialism and revolution with a touch of The Secret History and tones of Jekyll & Hyde

what an era to be alive
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Maëlys
May 05, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: aoc
"An act of translation is always an act of betrayal."

i'm already gasping for air & thoroughly obsessed. obsessed with the title (shortened AND full), obsessed with this synopsis, obssessed that it's taking place in the 1830s, obsessed with the art. i truly can't wait for this and to see RF Kuang's take on dark academia & outlook on colonialism through language. can it be August 2022 already please!!

YoutubeTwitter
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Chaity
Jun 08, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated
Me:[still not over tPW trauma] Wait. We are still letting R.F Kuang write books??


Also me: *Adds this book to tbr even without reading its title*
☔️ lin chuchu
DARK ACADEMIA BY THE AUTHOR OF POPPY WAR ABOUT REVOLUTION, WAR AND IMPERIALISM/COLONIALISM?? SIGN ME THE FUCKKKKK UP

rep: lgbtq+ cast, chinese protag, black mc, muslim mc
Miriam
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Like everyone else I'm excited to watch colonialism get run over by a semi, but the REAL hype IMO is the fact that this book is taking place in the 1830s, which:

description

description

description

1830s fashion, especially women's fashion, did not go gently into that good night and I am excited for descriptions of stupidly puffed sleeves and gravity-defying hairstyles replete with hair ribbons make out of actual hair.

And also colonialism getting run over by a semi.
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talia ♡
R.F Kuang marketing this book as The Secret History meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell with a heady dose of violent decolonization.....literally say no more, take all my money, and is there a way we can just skip everything and fast forward to August 2022?

i'm asking for me.
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☆Pelumi☆
May 08, 2021 marked it as to-read
This innocent looking (but totally evil) lady who thinks she's a good writer owns my very soul!

I will read this and since its not out yet, I'll pretend that its a good lovey-dovey book(that's an impossibility but hope?)
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violeta
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2022-releases
14/05 update: (for tpw fans) rf kuang says that BABEL is her finally getting to make kitay the main character and i am so here for it

also everyone please check out this tweet because ohmygod. and here i was, thinking that she couldn't get this book to be even more enticing than it already is.

---------

time to make this book my entire personality because, guess who's a translation student? me!! traduttore traditore, that's right, mfs!! the manipulation of literature! symbolic violence! post-coloni
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Anika
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: anticipated-2022
can august 2022 please come a bit faster?
Sana
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'BABEL is a dark academia set in 1830s Oxford that interrogates language, translation, and colonialism'

'Set in an alternate 1830s Oxford where scholars from colonized nations use silver bars to manifest the meaning "lost" in translation to magical effect, all under the shadow of the British Empire's ruthless expansionism'

OKAY YES, PLEASE (finally, we know what Kuang's dark academic book is even about and !!!!)

Sources here and here
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Jo
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
GIRD YOUR LOINS, FOR R.F. KUANG IS BACK.

Dark academia, tackling translation as a tool of colonialism. Violence are abound, both literal and symbolic, where magic lies in the manipulation of language and makes way for unparalleled power to use/abuse. At the Great Britain's centre of knowledge, a revolution is kindled a subtle flame biding its time.

I just know my academic heart is going to flourish and suffer at the same time - and I will let this book do wreak its havoc within. Babel is certa
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.
May 04, 2021 marked it as released-2022
[May 4th, 2021]: i don't ANY of us is emotionally ready for r.f. kuang's dark academia set in 1830s Oxford that interrogates language, translation, and colonialism. It's THE SECRET HISTORY meets JONATHAN STRANGE, enhanced by a heady dose of violent decolonization. but i am excited for its release in august 2022 anyway ...more
Lia Carstairs
another series by the the devil herself??? i'd be scared for my soul to break but kuang made sure of destroying it herself after the burning god's ending!😃🔫

help, im so excited
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Bethany
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
This book is going to be EVERYTHING!

"Babel — a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal response to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of translation as a tool of empire."

I mean if that isn't a flex....get it Rebecca. I'm here for all of it. But WHY do we have to wait so long??!!
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Kirsty
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
Kuang announced this book on Twitter today and I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED.

I also figured out that she was born the same year as me. She is the same age as I am. how is she this amazing yet i am a pile of garbage
Nala
May 04, 2021 added it
I've been waiting months for this announcement :') I can't wait to pre-order, I've watched most of kuang's interviews and everything she's mentioned about this books sounds PHENMONAL!! we need more poc who understand the real horror within dark academia. I cannot wait for this book ...more
angie
May 04, 2021 marked it as to-read
RF Kuang? Dark Academia? TOGETHER?

If it's anything like the small dark academia vibes from the first poppy war book... we're in for a good one.

Also, I've been watching RF Kuang cryptically talk about this book on her Twitter for months and I don't think any of us are ready.
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Hello! I use Goodreads to support books I really loved (I don't review or even always finish books I don't like) so it's mostly 5 star ratings here. I don't check GR very often so I don't respond to friend requests or messages. If you'd like to get in touch, find me on Twitter or at my author website–thanks! ...more

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