After moving to Brooklyn, Sabine Heinlein spent a year trying to learn English, a task which left the native German speaker “close to aphasic” after a few months. Eventually, she met up with another recent immigrant, who enlisted her for help in a sprawling art project: a collection of words from each language spoken in New York City. At The Hairpin, she writes about her experience.
German still has words like the very robust Donaudampfschifffahrt-sgesellschaftskapitaenswitwe to fall back on — meaning ‘widow of a Danube steamboat company captain.’
”[Paul] Scheerbart’s book bears the subtitle An Asteroid Novel, and all of its action takes place far from Earth. Not a single human character appears in the story; nor do its protagonists resemble the anthropomorphized aliens of so much science fiction. Rather, Scheerbart populates the asteroid Pallas with a race of newt-like creatures who are capable, when provoked, of expanding their bodies to several times their normal size. Moreover, the Pallasians have eyes that extend on stalks and function as telescopes or microscopes (the latter for reading micro-books: the Pallasians wear, as personal adornment, entire libraries around their necks).”
Interdisciplinarity – Inquiry across academic disciplines.
At Buck Duke’s Babbitt factory in Durham, N.C., this clumsy word is clattering off many tongues, as in this sentence from Duke University’s website: ‘In the most recent university strategic plan, ‘Making a Difference 2006.’ interdisciplinarity, or ‘inquiry across disciplines,’ was reaffirmed as an integral part of the university’s identity.’ Such coinages are the result of the impulse, common in academia, to replace perfectly serviceable simple words with one big fat important-sounding lump of bombast. Americans should leave this dubious art to the Germans, who are much better at it than we are. Consider the German word Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän, which translates as River Danube Steamship Society Captain. Those Germans are unrivaled masters of the verbal train wreck.
Goethe, writer, politician, and (apparently) amateur color theorist and precursor of Kandinsky.
Following one reading, the author Philipp Weiss ate his manuscript. During his presentation, young author Rainald Goetz cut open his forehead with a razorblade, and continued to read while covered in blood. And the Swiss author Urs Allemann ventured to read a text entitled “Baby Fucker.”
via the Center for the Art of Translation
For those wondering: no, the word “Kummerspeck" did not come up in the Walser manuscript.