Thursday, August 13, 2009

What do we think of this sentence:

"Perhaps it is the wild geese passing high overhead, following their obscure paths, obeying a mysterious command to cross night's vast gulf like wandering souls conversing in otherworldly tongues."

What do we think of the simile? The adjective-noun pattern that happens 7 times?

(Bonus if you know or can guess who wrote it...)

What about this paragraph:

"Eveline sat by her window until dawn. She watched the trees soak up the light. Dawn poured over the city like farm-fresh milk. The dwarf shrubs emerged from the gloaming like schoolchildren with snow on their hats after the long walk to the schoolhouse. A solemn cypress in its black and white robe loomed like a melancholy gambler returning home at dawn."

Why does everything have to be like something?


  1. Gyula KrĂșdy, supposedly the great master of 20th century Hungarian literature. The book is Sunflower.

  2. Maybe he's great comparatively. Maybe Hungary's not so great for books.

  3. They say Magyar (Hungarian) is difficult to translate, so I give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Did you know it's not related to any other European languages? It's in the Finno-Ugric family, which I've never heard of before.

  4. Surely an adjective before every noun is translatable?

  5. Maybe they use a lot of compound words that had to be chopped up. (I have no idea.)

  6. Ur-altaic languages are a bitch to learn. Most languages you learn a handful of cases, but in those languages the case structure is multiplied exponentially.

    Supposedly rated harder to master than anything but Farsi I think.

    It's not just the translator.

    It's the period.

    Simile disease has now been largely eradicated, like polio.

    But there are occasional hotpockets.

    He's basically doing the same thing Esenin did in Russian poetry. Esenin wouldn't go as far as the better avanty type poets but he would deform his similes and metaphors so he "almost" sounded avanty.

    After a while, one ends up preferring the classical poet sometimes (even with the horrid airs) like Akhmatova (to Esenin, I mean).

    Because the contrivance starts to look too much like the mannequins at the mall in the eighties who were trying to look like the mannequins in the music videos in the eighties.

    But all styles are probably doomed to obsolencence.

    And rebirth.

    Can you be redoomed to rebirth?

    I guess if you're in India. new word ver...sounds like a comic book that went for 2 issues.