A lost language

Spotting a section of republished Victorian era books and reports I decided to settle in and take a read at Blossoms while I waited.

I imagine the authors might be offended to learn that their serious inquiries came across as hilarious a few centuries after their publication. When you come across title such as “A Phrenologist amongst the Todas”, “Through Russian Central Asia” and “The Happy valley: Cashmere” you know that within is a misguided and thoughtlessly benevolent white man trying to carry his burden while describing his mission to civilize the orientals. You find, unfortunately, that the same condescension persists and parallels the world today.

But despair and laughs aside these books have their own charm like some antique curiosity made greater by age. There’s something about the language you see, it’s so smooth, functional and easy to drink that it flows by unnoticed. Writing was but a mechanical and very familiar process- I’m tempted to say unspoiled by making too much of it- for these men that you never notice it. It is merely a empty and foreign tool that stays unnoticed while you imagine those plains, the valleys, the mountain flowers and the men who wear sheepskin hats.

Somehow after an overdose of Murakami, King, Nabakov and today’s masters, I felt something I hadn’t in a while. I felt envious of these smooth and confident writers who had no style or thought about form, they merely reported a world that seemed larger, greater and stranger. It’s a fantastic fantasy, that’s terribly intriguing. Its lulls one into an easy concentration I hadn’t been able to muster for a lot of books for a lot of time. I was transfixed while a world unlike mine was reported into existence.

Really I wish I could write that easy, with so much to convey about what I’d seen in that strange and free flowing language, one I’m unsure I learn.

2 thoughts on “A lost language

  1. Fun! I last cracked “The Green Goddess” a UCLA copy I think archived in the Internet Archive (org) where I’m treated to the shameless and brazen reemerging in culture where divorce, affairs etc exist as human nature does. It’s also available as a radio play with Orson Wells 1939 Campbell’s theater same archive. A- I found all this looking up old radio. Then curious as I’d just found the history on Russian dressing, I wonder if this play is that green goddess dressing by then a twenty year old memory of a neighbor’s mom’s party offer as I’d not in my days had green goddess as it was out of style by the nineties. It is! Green goddess is a San Fran. hotel honoring the lead actor up from a picture partying gets served green goddess dressing. It’s difficult to find anymore. Sweet Vidalia dressing or similar ilk highlighting onion is in more Vogue. The closest I’ve come to your actual experience is hitting up the magazines of the era at big city main libraries – the ones most likely to have such resources.

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