[Marxism] Pride & Prejudice (Twain and German)
jack.cade at btinternet.com
Sun Jan 29 10:47:52 MST 2006
The Irish writer Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan) once remarked
"Waiting for a bus? Then wait for the German verb'tis the
There are ten parts of speech, and they are all troublesome.
An average sentence, in a German newspaper, is a sublime
and impressive curiosity; it occupies a quarter of a column;
it contains all the ten parts of speech--not in regular order,
but mixed; it is built mainly of compound words constructed
by the writer on the spot, and not to be found in any
dictionary--six or seven words compacted into one,
without joint or seam--that is, without hyphens;
it treats of fourteen or fifteen different subjects,
each enclosed in a parenthesis of its own, with here and
there extra parentheses, making pens with pens: finally,
all the parentheses and reparentheses are massed together
between a couple of king-parentheses, one of which is placed
in the first line of the majestic sentence and the other
in the middle of the last line of it--AFTER WHICH COMES
THE VERB, and you find out for the first time what the man
has been talking about; and after the verb--merely by way
of ornament, as far as I can make out--the writer shovels
in "HABEN SIND GEWESEN GEHABT HAVEN GEWORDEN SEIN,"
or words to that effect, and the monument is finished.
I suppose that this closing hurrah is in the nature of the
flourish to a man's signature--not necessary, but pretty.
> Mehmet Cagatay
> Brian Shannon wrote:
> "It is a lot of fun and filled with irony only matched but
> not surpassed by that of Mark Twain."
> Yesterday I read a witty article of Mark Twain about his
> adventures with German Language. As I experienced similar
> frustrations two hours a week in high school, it has waked my
> memories (!)
> Mehmet Çagatay
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