15 December 2013

At the British Library Bookshop

A bestselling series - and very attractive too
We went to the BL to see the exhibition of children's book illustration (till 26 Jan) and of course had to visit the bookshop, where we found many temptations. "Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition" was lying around on the vitrine housing the ancient typewriter, and I immediately fell in love with the book -
The afterword quote from Mark Twain (on "the awful German language") reads: "These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions" - he's so right -
Each (wide) page of the book sports three of these processions, with explanatory notes and related thoughts given on the opposite page -

I have used the camera (albeit in a blurry way, sorry) to provide these snippets, for the purposes of review and, hopefully, enticement to purchase. Dropping one of these words into a dinner conversation will provide a nice bombshell for the assembled company. 

"We turn to German in moments of perplexity," says Schott. "We turn to it for things like angst, and we turn to it for things like zeitgeist."

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