May 14, 2004

Non-verbal communication  

Michael Thaler's new verbless novel, (in French and untranslated) Le Train de Nulle Part, under review over at Language Log. And the reaction: copycat posts with no verbs, no nouns, no prepositions, no adjectives, no articles. But the irony of it all! In French and English grammar at least, such a wealth of adjectives, nouns, and adverbs, all direct descendants of verbal forms -- verbs, those queens of language. So now, only the shadows of verbs; presence through absence, the theme of the novel.

Any of you translators up to the challenge? Easier, probably, than Gilbert Adair's bizarre achievement, his e-less translation of Perec's La Disparition, but still amusing, no? Some young upstart translator's future tour de force, no doubt.

Lenka  {May 14, 2004}

As your post itself demonstrates, Paul, sometimes verbs can go on vacation. Considering how busy they are, the deserve it. ;)

entangledbank  {May 14, 2004}

Not very difficult, this. The arrangement obvious enough, the style copyable, once all the pieces in place. The writer's efforts, their hesitation, their checking of certain constructions for conformation that that part of speech, its remnants invisible.

karasuman  {May 19, 2004}

I'm impressed. I don't think I would have noticed it if I hadn't been looking. :)

Julius Nolan  {November 12, 2008}


Post a comment

Remember personal