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The Voratious Wikipedian or a Zarzuela in Three Acts Without Music
On the night of 9 August 2013, I saw Dr. Blofeld, whom I know since 2008, but have never had the honour of speaking to, asking Ipigott, whom I've been watching for unknown reasons, if he could translate from Spanish or French the rest of the article Cristóbal Oudrid that the funny Bonkers The Clown had started - Amazing how a sentence of half a dozen words was turned into in only 9 days. I, in my humble gnomy condition, decided to give it a try and make him a surprise by doing something instead of telling others to do it, as it seems to be the usual practice here. So, I translated from the Catalan Wikipedia the rest of the article, which looked a little messy at first sight. But the real story for me began when I dived into Oudrid's compositions. I saw that the information about his work would not look so good spread all over the article, so I decided to put it in a wikitable. As I began doing that, which I intended to finish by 10 August, I noticed a multitude of details hidden behind those funny titles. I hadn't even heard of the word "Zarzuela" before in my life. Like this I began researching, and the more I did that, the more information I found. One reference here, another there, a sea of books and authors mentioning about Oudrid and his fellow musicians and librettists at my entire disposal all over the net. I referenced something here and there, once, twice, thrice, seeing that many of his works had already been published. But the more I did that, the more corrections I had to do, until I saw that the whole article was a mish-mash of misleading, misguiding, misunderstanding information, one translation over the next, from Catalan to Spanish, from French to Dutch into English. Mistyping, misspelling, translation errors, poor formatting, a misinterpretation of the meaning of the titles, dates, names, festering before my eyes. And the more I researched, the more mistakes I found, even my own!
By Saturday, I noticed that sysop Rosiestep and reviewer Nvvchar had finished translating the article, to my dismay. But although they did a good job, I said to myself: C'mon man, it's far, far away! And like this the days rushed me by around the kitchen table, behind which I began sinking amid notes on details that I could not but mention in the article. I woke up at 10 in the morning, and went to bed at 4 am. The whole night and day, persistently looking at the screen of my laptop, with brigadier sky and hot sun out there - Oh, how I wish I were in Barcelona! - But at each glance at the screen, I fell in love with what I was reading in such a way that many times I caught myself laughing at the meaning of those titles, and the comic-lyrical passages of the stories hidden behind them. Everything was narrowing, references scarcing, and the work increasing, more and more and more and more... 18 hours a day, all among my daily tasks, housekeeping, wedding anniversary, wife's birthday, banking, wine glasses, the supermarket... and me talking, chatting, reading, dreaming, mulling things over and over again, envisioning how to make it better, and better, and better, detailing this and that everywhere I went to. I saw my life being zarzuelianly consumed in flames. And I hadn't even heard of the word "Zarzuela" before in my life! New ideas on how to do this and that came to mind as if Oudrid himself was whispering in my ears. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ... and more and more and more, until my wife asked: Why don't you call Dr. Blofeld and that sysop who helped translate the article to help you with that? I said: What? And let them have the cherry of the pie? No way...! This is like a big puzzle, a huge one, that I intend to see complete as a whole, and pretty soon - Though this soon never came! - Bit by bit I filled in the missing pieces, and every time I painstakingly researched on a title and found a little piece of information, I banged my head as if headlining an Ozzy' show. So, like this I stuck my head inside that Spanish opera bowl full of terms and notes on music, singers and pantomime once again! - Oh, sorry for being so greedy Dr. Blofeld, but in the end I guess you're right... this pie is too big for my mouth!
There are a few considerations I would like to make here. I have brought this work this close to being ready for FA with only a few things missing in the text - Quite a pretention from my part! - such as the lack of information on the titles: Yo y mi tía, which was really difficult to dig, Jugar con vino, Los encantos de Briján, Buenos Dias Señor Don Simón, Es un Genio, and of course the gap as for Oudrid's life between 1853 and 1859. As I progressed in this work, I was able to see in bright colors that Oudrid was really a very busy man, running from one theatre to the other, talking with one composer as he worked with another, writing not only songs, but polkas and military marches, all at the same time, reading and writing essays and librettos as he dealt with contempt, jealousy and envy from other composers and theatre directors under his struggle to keep life going and making money for the house and the heat. Spain should be proud of Cristóbal Oudrid for he was more than just a kid, he was a real tough man.
Another thing is that I rewrote the titles of the plays with capital letters, according to the manual of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, which reads that every word in the title of a work should be capitalized, with the exception of articles, prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs. But you know, I wouldn't mind if one changed this for the actual title of Oudrid's creations, which appears in most references, including the BNE's. Second, the powerful machines I've found out there such as Casares, Draaye, Lalama, Hidalgo, Barbieri and Peña y Goñi, authors whom I used as reference through Google Books, which greatly assisted me on this task. The Zarzuelerías blog (although Wiki says no) that I did use as reference once their info comes straight from the BNE. The amazing Italian almanac Amadeus Online, which helped me enormously with very useful information and details on Oudrid's compositions, dates of premiere and the theatres where his zarzuelas were first performed. The Hathi Trust, Parnaseo, Musicalics, Ministery of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Spain, and the National Library of Spain, which was a major contributor to this work - They even have a link to the Spanish Wikipedia, a delightful surprise to me!
Also, the translation of the terms used in the titles are correct - Yes, the translation could never be literal - with exception of two titles: Pata de Cabra translated as Padfoot - I couldn't find a better term in English, and maybe one of you guys may help me with this. I know nothing of medicine, therefore, I'm afraid my attempt to make it English has failed - and La Reina de los aires, which I translated as "of the Air," unfortunately not "in the Air," as I wish it to be. There are still some spelling corrections to be made, and some adjustments as for the English language and prose of the text once I am Brazilian, not a librettist. So, any one with good intention to make these corrections for the readers out there is welcome in my heart. Another important thing I would like to leave registered here is the border around the notes section. I deal with articles in a way that I keep myself off the readers shoulders out there, although I consider myself one of them! I don't deal with personal things and if asked my answer will always be the same: "My preferences here are totally irrelevant," but if there is one thing I do intend to keep to my banishing from Wikipedia, is this bloody border around this section. It's my one and only wish. If any Wikipedian find me the slightest suggestion that this section can't be framed the way that I did, I will gladly come back here and delete the frame myself, but dare you not come here to change 6 for 9. Instead, go pick up one of the 5 million articles available for you out there, but don't mess with this one. Stop complaining and telling others what you think they should do, and start doing things yourself."
A kiss and a bis from you friendly neighbour,
A flea behind the dog's ear
Good grief, that's a commendable expansion!!♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:20, 20 August 2013 (UTC)